Keith Richards Broke A Bone During His Proposal To Patti Hansen

A successful proposal causes some to weep for joy, others to shout celebratorily, or, in rock legend Keith Richards' case, break a bone. The guitarist for the Rolling Stones proposed to his first and only wife, Patti Hansen, multiple times before she finally said yes in 1983. They wed in December of that year, giving Richards time to heal from his unexpected injury.

According to the guitarist, Hansen was so excited by his proposal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, that she lept onto Richards' back and broke his toe. While Hansen hasn't denied that Richards got hurt the day he proposed, she did add a telling detail. The 1983 proposal wasn't the first time Richards had tried to ask for her hand; it was just the first time she accepted, per Harper's Bazaar.

Still, multiple proposal attempts aside, their relationship has remained strong ever since. The couple has been together since their 1983 wedding and have two children together, Theodora and Alexandra Richards.

Keith Richards and Patti Hansen's love story started at a club

While Keith Richards was forging a career as one of the most famous rock bands of all time's lead guitarist, Patti Hansen was pursuing a successful career of her own as a model. In stereotypically 1970s fashion, the pair met at Studio 54 while Hansen was celebrating her 23rd birthday. Hansen later attended Richards' 36th birthday celebration, and Richards was immediately smitten.

"Incredibly I've found a woman. A miracle!" Richards wrote one year after they met in a 1980 journal entry, which he included in his autobiography "Life." "She is the most beautiful ... specimen in the WORLD. But that ain't it! It certainly helps but it's her mind, her joy of life, and she thinks this battered junkie is the guy she loves."

In a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair, Richards described his first meeting with Hansen as a definitive turning point in his life. "The moment I saw Patti, we looked at each other, and I said, 'Hello, something's happening to me.'" Richards and Hansen have been navigating life together ever since and seem just as in love as when they were a newly formed rock royalty duo of the 1980s — something Hansen attributes to their willingness to persevere and compromise.

Richards and Hansen's marriage is built on mutual beliefs and respect for differing ones

Patti Hansen detailed some of the rougher moments in her marriage with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards in a 2010 Vogue interview, including her back-to-back diagnoses of breast and bladder cancer, Richards' life-threatening head injury in the mid-aughts, raising a family, and, more generally speaking, the hard work of moving past the drug-laced hedonism of their younger days.

"Any marriage, Rolling Stone or not, there's definitely going to be some rocky mountains there. We have had our trials; that's for sure. But on the whole, it's great. We both have the same morals and background. We both come from working-class families. I think we are very similar in many ways," Hansen told Vogue. And although Hansen and Richards come from different political and religious ideologies, Hansen said, "We make it work."

Richards shared a heartwarming tribute to his wife for their 40th anniversary in December 2023 on Instagram. Under a photograph of the couple cutting their wedding cake — and yes, Hansen's dress does have the most 1980s sleeves you've ever seen — Richards wrote, "For Patricia, Happy 40th Anniversary! I love you. Keith [heart emoji]." Indeed, with over four decades of marriage under their belt, it's clear that the broken toe all those years ago in Cabo San Lucas was well worth it.