5 Awesome Love Stories That Actually Happened
Are you a single Sparkler who's feeling bummed about celebrating V-Day solo yet again? Trust me, I get it; sometimes it's hard to remember that your true love it out there somewhere waiting for you, especially when everyone around you is sucking face and being showered with teddy bears made of chocolate strawberries. But I think I might have something to cheer you up: unlikely love stories that really happened. Like Pyramus and Thisbe, who pulled a Romeo and Juliet (but with less poison and more bloodthirsty mountain lions), and Shah Jahan, who had the Taj Mahal built for the love of his life. (Take that, Kim and Kris. Your scathing tweets do not amuse me.) In light of the spirit of Valentine's Day, here are 5 love stories that don't contain any vampires but more than make up for that by being, well, true.
Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson. Edward was flat-out gorgeous, a lady’s man, and heir to the British throne. Wallis was American, on her second marriage, and not particularly easy on the eyes. When they met at a fancy dinner party, the conversational juices weren’t exactly flowing. Edward probably had his elbow in the dip and Wallis probably told him to get it the hell out. It wasn’t until later that the romance took off in a flurry of dinners, secret affairs, and flying rumors. Edward disbanded his harem of mistresses when he fell in love with Wallis “I Make the Rules” Simpson, but he didn’t stop there. Everyone in the royal court was nervously wringing their hands and saying, “She’s a fling, right? Please tell us she’s a fling. She’s a divorcee, Edward! A DIVORCEE! Also she’s a Nazi sympathizer and possibly a gold-digging temptress, but did you catch the bit about THE DIVORCE?” And yet Edward went right ahead and did the thing for which their love story is so widely known: he ABDICATED THE THRONE FOR HER. Abdicated. The. Throne. You say your boyfriend got you chocolates? That’s sweet, but next time see if he can manage to chuck the Crown Jewels right out the window in the name of love. (PS. Madonna just made a movie about their affair. Check out the trailer!)
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Queen Victoria was the longest-reigning monarch in British history—she spent sixty-three years on the throne, and FORTY of those were spent mourning Albert after his untimely demise. She spent forty years wearing black until her own death, and she never truly recovered from losing him—this is the stuff Nicholas Sparks novels are made of.
Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine. These two took the "true love" ideal and did it completely backwards; they married for convenience, and then fell hopelessly, passionately, and turbulently in love. They weren’t even briefly loyal to each other—they committed adulterous acts left, right, and center. It wasn't even the rampant cheating that led to their matrimonial doom; Napoleon was a little busy creating an empire, and Josephine couldn’t pop out a child no matter how hard she tried, so the two split up. But when Josephine died, it's said that Napoleon retrieved violets from her grave and kept them in a locket that he wore for the rest of his life.
Prince Salim and Anarkali. Prince Salim of the Mughal Empire fell in love with a slave girl, Anarkali. His dad wasn't cool with that, and made no secret of it. Instead of, I don’t know, giving his son a stern warning and a slap on the wrist, Salim's father threw Anarkali in jail. Salim reacted as any rational son would when his father lays down the law like that; he declared a full-on war. The good intentions were all there, but he lost spectacularly, and he was given a choice: give up Anarkali, or submit to the death penalty. Salim chose Option B like a good little star-crossed lover, but here the story takes a twist—Anarkali secretly met with Salim's father and asked if she could die in Salim's place. Daddykins thought that was a swell idea and even agreed to let the lovebirds have one last night together. The next morning, Anarkali drugged Salim and strolled out to meet her maker with her head held high, whereupon she was buried alive. It’s believed that her tomb still exists to this day in Lahore, Pakistan, as a testament to the waterworks of every secret romantic out there.
John and Abigail Adams. These two were the DREAM TEAM. Like the little nerdboy he was, John Quincy Adams fell in love when he saw Abigail with her nose in a book. (All together now, let’s swoon.) The two tackled issues of slavery, as well as that whole American Revolution thing, and Abigail was so politically active that she became known as “Mrs. President.” The thing was, they weren’t just an old married couple; they were life partners and best friends, and when she died, her last words were purportedly, “Do not grieve, my friend, my dearest friend. I am ready to go. And John, it will not be long.” Should we sob now? Let us sob.
WE'RE SOBBING. Do these true stories inspire you to look for love or make you hate V-Day and singlehood even more? We're torn between the two emotions.
Related post: The Greatest Modern Love Stories
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