True Love Stories from History

In honour of Valentine's Day, we take a look back at history's most famous couples—star-crossed, cursed, life-long, and everything in between.

Love is a strong feeling. Couples in love have sparked wars and controversy throughout history, created masterpieces in writing, music, and art, and grabbed the hearts of the public with the force of their True Love Stories relationships. From Cleopatra’s allure to the Kennedys’ magnetism, these love romances have served as historical markers. Prepare to swoon over these timeless love stories.

Greatest True Love Stories from History

1. Cleopatra and Mark Antony

Interaction, Romance, Fun, Event, Photography, Gesture, Love, Happy, Smile, Performance,

“Brilliant to look at and listen to, having the ability to subdue anybody.” Cleopatra, Egypt’s queen, was described in this way. She had the option of having everything or anybody she desired, but she fell madly in love with True Love Stories the Roman General Mark Antony.

2. Paris and Helen

Painting, Mythology, Art, Stock photography, Fictional character, Cupid, Prophet, Visual arts, Middle ages,

She was someone else’s wife, but when Paris, the “handsome, woman-mad” ruler of Troy, saw Helen, the woman Aphrodite declared the most beautiful in the world, he had to have her. Helen and Paris fled together, igniting the True Love Stories decade-long Trojan War. Helen was half-divine, the daughter of Queen Leda and Zeus, who turned into a swan to woo the queen, according to legend.

3. Henry II and Rosamund Clifford

Painting, Art, Visual arts, Watercolor paint, Artwork, Modern art,

The first Plantagenet monarch of England had a wealthy royal bride in Eleanor of Aquitaine and several lovers, but his true love was “Fair Rosamund,” also known as the “Rose of the World.” Henry erected a love nest in the darkest reaches of a labyrinth in his park at Woodstock to conceal their romance. Nonetheless, according to legend, Queen Eleanor did not True Love Stories stop until she discovered the labyrinth and tracked it to its core, where she discovered her gorgeous competitor.

4. Hadrian and Antinous

Sculpture, Face, Ancient history, Head, Art, Stone carving, Forehead, Classical sculpture, Chin, History,

We’ve all heard of the Wall—no, not that one, the one that stretched across England in the second century AD—but what about Emperor Hadrian’s heart? He was defeated by Antinous (far left), a bright and athletic Greek student. “An intense need for his presence” characterised the emperor. Hadrian once saved his lover’s life during a lion hunt while the two were travelling together, pursuing their passion of hunting. The emperor even dabbled in sensual poetry.

5. Dante and Beatrice

Painting, Art, Visual arts, Artwork, Middle ages, Watercolor paint,

Rarely has a lady been such a powerful source of inspiration for a writer—and he hardly knew her. Dante Alighieri, the Italian poet, wrote passionately about Beatrice in the Divine Comedy and other writings, yet he only met the object of his adoration twice. He was nine years old and she was eight years old the first time they met. The second time they met, they were adults, and as they walk down the street in Florence, Beatrice, an emerald-eyed beauty, turned to welcome Dante before continuing True Love Stories on her path.

6. Louis XV of France and Madame de Pompadour

Painting, Beauty, Portrait, Sitting, Headpiece, Art, Visual arts, Style,

The pair indulged in their love of art, furniture, and china, with Madame de Pompadour organising modest dinner parties and amateur theatricals in which she would star for her jade royal lover (of course). Louis XV remark, “You are the most delicious woman in France,” before whisking her out of the room while seeing a performance.

7. Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII

Victorian fashion, Art, Painting, Fashion, Costume design, Dress, Mythology, Visual arts, Monarch, Formal wear,

When the Tudor monarch fell in love with a young lady-in-waiting named Anne Boleyn. Who had “dark and gorgeous eyes,” he was already married to a Spanish princess. But Anne refuse to be a royal mistress, and the king shock the Western world by divorcing his wife and making Anne queen. Finally, The ambassadors were astound by how enslaved the king was by his passion for Anne.

8. Mary Godwin Shelley and Percy Shelley

Photograph, Portrait, Eyebrow, Retro style, Iris, Black-and-white, Self-portrait, Vintage clothing, Art,

When Percy Shelley, a young Romantic poet, met Mary Godwin, she was the adolescent daughter of a renowned trailblazing feminist, the long-dead Mary Wollstonecraft. They shared a love of the mind—”Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips,” Moreover, he wrote—but physical yearning carried them away as well, consummated beside Mary’s mother’s grave.

9. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning

Hair, Face, Hairstyle, Chin, Eyebrow, Nose, Sketch, Long hair, Drawing, Forehead,

Robert Browning wrote to Elizabeth Barrett, an accomplished and respected poet in poor health (and nearly 40 years old), saying, “I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,” and praising their “fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos, and true new brave thought.” Lastly, They courted in secret due to her family’s opposition.

10. John Keats and Fanny Brawne

Picture frame, Art, Collection, Visual arts, Interior design,

Though the relationship was filled with envy, the acclaimed young poet’s affair with his neighbour, Fanny Brawne, inspired what is undoubtedly his best famous poem, “Bright Star.” Keats was a wildly ardent bard, whereas Brawne was a precocious and flirty young woman. The two argued as much as they united, but the full manifestation of their love was hampered by Keats’ lack of funds and his sickness. Bedridden by TB, which he inherited from his late brother and mother, Keats pined for his coquettish Brawne, whose frivolous attitude ruined her love for the young poet and subsequently exacerbated his health.

11. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo

Photograph, Black-and-white, Monochrome, Monochrome photography, Stock photography, Photography, Vintage clothing,

In pursuit of professional guidance, the bright young Mexican painter Kahlo paid a visit to the workshop of legendary muralist Rivera. “She possessed an extraordinary dignity and self-assurance, as well as a weird fire in her eyes,” he observed. Moreover, Their relationship was tumultuous, but Rivera understood from the start that Kahlo “was the most significant reality in my life and she would continue to be until she died 27 years later.”

12. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

Vertebrate, Dog, Mammal, Canidae, Photograph, Snapshot, Carnivore, Dog breed, Kennel club, Ancient dog breeds,

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were inseparable for over 40 years, famed for their literary salon in Paris, which was visited by Picasso, T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and many others. “It was Gertrude Stein who kept my whole attention, as she did for all the many years I knew her until her death, and all these empty ones since them,” Toklas (far left) wrote of her first meeting with Stein.

13. Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII

Duke and Duchess of Windsor with Dogs

The affair between Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson startled a country and plunged Britain’s king into a constitutional crisis. Because of the church and government’s overwhelming hostility to their marriage, Edward opted to quit the crown. He notably declared his love for Simpson at a speech to the country in 1936. “I have found it difficult to shoulder the enormous load of duty and execute my obligations as king as I would desire to do without the help and support of the lady I love,” he stated in his speech of abdication.

14. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Hair, Face, Forehead, Skin, Hairstyle, Eyebrow, Beauty, Nose, Cheek, Lip,

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward met on the set of Picnic and married shortly after filming The Long, Hot Summer. Unlike most on-set Hollywood romances, Newman and Woodward had been blissfully married for fifty years. When challenged about his marriage to Woodward and adultery, Newman famously replied, “I’ve got a steak at home.”

15. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco

Prince Rainer III of Monaco, 32, and Grace Kelly, 26, after

Grace Kelly, an American film actress, left Hollywood at the height of her career to marry Prince Rainier and become Princess of Monaco in the wedding of the century. Prince Rainier fell head over heels for Grace, whom he met while filming To Catch a Thief on the French Riviera. He courted her for some time through letters before the pair announced their engagement in the Kelly family’s Philadelphia home and married in 1956. After Grace’s terrible death in 1982, Prince Rainier never remarried.

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