Love stories are some of the greatest tales ever told, whether they involve the richest drug lord, or a woman who becomes a princess after being a maid. The following describes the ten most popular love stories known throughout our world’s history. See if you know any.
10 Famous True Love Stories of All Time
Antony and Cleopatra
One of the oldest love stories, the tale of Antony and Cleopatra follows one of true love and deceit. Once Julius Caesar was murdered, Marc Antony demanded to know what foul play Cleopatra did in Caesar’s death, but finally he was seduced by Cleopatra and found himself constantly at her side. Octavian, Caesar’s grandnephew, decided to attack Egypt in hopes to add more lands to the Roman Empire. Cleopatra fought alongside Antony in the battle, but when Cleopatra thought she would lose this battle, she retreated. However, Antony blindly followed after her, immediately losing the battle. Seeing her mistake of controlling him, Cleopatra locked herself in a room and instructed her maids to inform Antony she was dead. Upon hearing this, Antony stabbed himself, at which time Cleopatra rushed to his side to show she’s alive and well, but the wounds were too severe for Antony to survive. Distraught and captured by Octavian, Cleopatra managed to have a poisonous snake brought in to her room, which she used to kill herself.
When Rome was faced with warring enemies on all side, the emperor Claudius found himself short of men to help protect the empire. Few men wished to volunteer, wanting to spend a quiet life with their loved ones. To combat this, the emperor outlawed marriage, only for Saint Valentine to secretly continue marrying loved ones. He was arrested and soon sentenced to death for refusing to follow the emperor’s orders. The emperor allowed Valentine to write one last letter to his love, which he sealed with the now commonly used phrase, “from your Valentine.” Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated yearly in honor of this Saint and his desire to keep loved ones together.
Rome and Juliet
Rome and Juliet, the youngest members from two families who greatly despised each other, fell in love without knowing the other’s name. Upon discovery that their true love was also their greatest enemy, they enlisted the help of Friar Laurence to get married and convince their families that was for the best. Sadly, messages were not received in time when Juliet had fallen into a deep sleep to prevent her arranged marriage, and Romeo assumed she had died. Knowing he could not live with her, he killed himself with poison. Later, Juliet waked and only found her beloved dead beside her, she totally lost desire to live and stabbed herself to death.
Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
Of all the love stories listed, this one has resulted in the greatest monument—the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal shared a loving marriage that ended suddenly when Mumtaz died during the birth of their 14th child. Devastated both emotionally and physically, Shah Jahan was left in a state of deep grief which inspired him to commission the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his wife. However, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his eldest son not long after completion of Taj Mahal and lived the rest of his life under house arrest. But in 1666, he was finally buried alongside his wife.
John and Abigail Adams
The love held by John and Abigail Adams is worthy of taking note. Although Abigail was uneducated, she taught herself to read, write and believed in equality for all, making her the perfect match for John, a lawyer and politician. Instead of trying to subdue her, John encouraged Abigail’s outspokenness. During the nation’s revolution, John and Abigail were separated and could only communicate by letters; their lover letters are very famous now and over a thousand altogether. They retired to their farmhouse after John’s presidency, where Abigail passed peacefully, followed by John a mere eight years later.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Despite being an arranged marriage, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert immediately fell in love when they met at Windsor Castle. Albert was consistently at the Queen’s disposal, she never made a decision without his approval despite the country being hers to rule, and they even raised nine children together. Sadly, Albert suffered a sudden death from typhoid fear after twenty-five years of marriage. This left Victoria to live in seclusion for three years, and finally resumed her royal duties five years later. For the next forty years of her reign, she remained in mourning, wishing only to be with her beloved again.
Les Brown Jr. and Helen: A Life Together
Born on the same day—December 31, 1918, the two lovers Les Brown Jr. and Helen met in high school and experienced love at first sight. Since Les came from a rich family and Helen came from a working class family, which made it obvious that neither set of parents approved of their love. Therefore, as soon as they graduated high school, Les and Helen eloped to Southern California where they raised their family and spent active lives together into their 90’s. Helen passed away from stomach cancer on July 16, 2013, and Les passed from Parkinson’s just the following day.
Bonnie and Clyde
Most love stories involve tragic romance, but Bonnie and Clyde are more well-known for their antics and criminal behavior. Meeting around 1930, Clyde already had a criminal record which obviously did not deter Bonnie in her pursuit of him. They worked together as criminals and were responsible for the deaths of nine police officers and several civilians until they were ambushed and killed by police in Louisiana in 1934. However, the sad part is that the couple wanted to be buried together, but Bonnie’s family refused.
Jack and Phyllis Potter: The Notebook in Real Life
This is one real life version of the most popular love stories out there. From the moment they met in October 1941, Jack knew he liked Phyllis and described in his dairy that he hoped he would meet her again. Less than a year and a half later, they were married and lived in England for over fifty years. Sadly, Phyllis eventually had to be moved to a nursing home due to her worsening dementia. Knowing the difficulty of the dementia, Jack spent all of his time with her to make sure she remembers him and never forgets the love they hold for each other, just like the popular novel The Notebook.
Johnny and June Cash
Known as one of the most celebrated true love stories of our time, Johnny and June Cash first met in Nashville in 1955 while touring—Johnny married to his first wife and June to her second husband. At this meeting, Johnny informed June that he would marry her, to which she simply laughed. June’s family consistently helped Johnny pick up the pieces from his drug and alcohol abuse, adultery as well as his failing belief in Christianity. They both divorced their spouses in 1966, only for Johnny to immediately being proposing to June. She refused until he cleaned up his life and accepted his thirtieth proposal on a live stage show in 1968. They stayed together for thirty-five years while June helped Johnny through many more relapses into drugs and alcohol. They died four months apart in 2003.