History is filled with love stories that have been recorded through the ages and surprisingly nothing much has changed. The love these people had for their special someone might have been mere gossip in their day but it survived time in the form of changing the course of history and leaving monuments in memory of one another.
1. Baji Rao and Mastani
Having inspired the upcoming film starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, the story of Peshwa Baji Rao is not complete without his absolute bewitchment (in a good way) by Mastani. Her origins are unconfirmed as are most facts in Indian history. Some believed she was a Hyderabadi princess while others thought of her as a court dancer. Despite opposition from his clan, he married her for who she was. Mastani committed ritual suicide after he died in battle.
2. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony
Cleopatra is best remembered as Egypt’s last Pharaoh even though she ruled in alliance with her male relatives. Remembered in history as the most beautiful woman, she managed to charm two of the most powerful men in the world. Cleopatra fell in love with Mark Anthony after the death of Julius Caesar and their relationship lasted 11 years. In 41 B.C, Anthony took his life on receiving false news of his lover’s death, while Octavian led the Roman army into conquering Egypt and refusing to fall prey to Cleopatra’s charm. Cleopatra took her life by inducing an asp bite in her.
3. Bonnie and Clyde
If you’re wondering what inspired Bunty Aur Babli, it was Bonnie and Clyde. They were robbers and con artists in the United States during the Great Depression and left the police reeling in their pursuit. Although it would have been far from a love story in those days. What is surprising is Bonnie stood by Clyde no matter how many crimes they committed together.
They were finally ambushed by the police when they were betrayed by their gang members. Bonnie got her death wish when she died on her partner’s lifeless body.
4. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
One of the best known Mughal emperors in Indian history after his grandfather Akbar, Shah Jahan had three wives, his favourite being Mumtaz Mahal. She died during child birth while delivering their 14th child. In memory of her last words, he built her a mausoleum to etch their love for eternity. The Taj Mahal still stands today reminding us of a husband’s love.
5. Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
In 1931, the heir to the English throne, Edward of Wales met Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee and it was love at first sight. When his father died in 1936, Edward became king and was unable to discharge his duties properly with his plans of marrying Ms. Simpson, something that would shake the very foundations of the monarchy, the church and the British Parliament. Left with no choice, he abdicated his throne to his brother, George VI, and married Wallis. Many labelled her as a gold digger as she was divorced twice, but to Edward she was “the perfect woman”. They lived in exile in France under the titles of “Duke and Duchess of Windsor”.
6. Pierre and Marie Curie
The two scientists met in Paris when Marie was a student in France. She rejected Pierre’s proposal as she wanted to return to Poland. However he was willing to follow her even if it meant being a French teacher there.
The couple married a year later and made several breakthroughs in science like discovering elements like radium and polonium and winning the Nobel prize for discovering radioactivity.
7. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
The young Victoria was absolutely smitten when she met Albert, a German prince, who also happened to be a distant relative. During their married life they showcased themselves as a middle class family, focusing on domestic values and self sufficiency. After having 9 children and being married for 21 years, Albert died of influenza in 1861 leaving his wife devastated. She withdrew from public life. The woman who popularized the white wedding dress became known as the monarch in black, wearing her mourning dress and her widow’s veil.