What happens when the greatest leaders in the world find love in the wrong person? Or think they have! You know, Love; The one word that is so wide, nobody has ever defined it to its fullness. If you look closely at the world we live in today; you will realize that affairs and marriages have shaped it, some so controversial, no one ever wants to mention them. From kings to warriors, soldiers, and presidents, all great people who shaped our world with their controversial but sometimes sweet love stories. Here are the 10 most interesting ones.
Mark Antony and Cleopatra
Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra were the Romeo and Juliet of the Roman empire between 32BC and 30BC. Antony fell in love with the beautiful princess of Egypt when she arrived in Rome dressed like Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love. Marcus Antonius soon lost himself and followed her back to Egypt, abandoning Rome. Cleopatra seems to have totally taken over his feelings because he declared her son Caesarion as the rightful heir of Rome, which immediately sparked a war with his co-emperor Octavian Thurinus (the famous Augustus Caesar).
Octavian rallied Rome against Antony, claiming that Cleopatra was controlling him. Antony and Cleopatra lost the war against Rome. Anthony committed suicide when someone told him that Cleopatra had been killed. Cleopatra also, on learning about Anthony’s death, committed suicide after petitioning Octavian to bury her next to Anthony and so started the leadership of the great Augustus Caesar, which shaped Rome and, by extension, the whole world.
Richard And Mildred Loving
Mildred Loving died in Virginia in 2008 after going into history as the greatest shamer of racially discriminating laws against interracial marriage in the US. Mildred was of both African and Native American descent, and the anti-Miscegenation laws in Virginia and other southern US states meant she couldn’t marry Richard Loving, the love of her life. The two then drove to Washington, where interracial marriages were legal and received their marriage certificate.
When they came back to Virginia, they were arrested and sentenced to a year in prison or a 25-year banishment from Virginia, a ruling that led to the famous 1967 Supreme court case Loving VS Virginia. The couple won the case, and with it came the legalization of interracial marriages in the sate as well as 15 others.
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
King Edward VIII is only the second monarch in the history of the British monarchy to abdicate the throne. His reason is, however, the first of its kind; Love. He was the son of King George V and the elder brother of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II’s dad, meaning if he hadn’t abdicated, the queen would not be queen today. He was the crown prince working by his father’s side in preparation to become king before his father died in 1936.
He insisted on Marrying Wallis Simpson, the ex-wife to Ernest Simpson, with whom he started an affair even before her husband gave her a divorce. The parliament and the church didn’t like her, and the succession laws wouldn’t allow a twice-divorced woman with a living husband to be queen. The king, who had only ruled for 325 days, had to choose between love and the throne, and sadly, he chose the former, allowing his younger brother to ascend the throne.
Czar Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna
British and Russian royalty was never fond of each other, but these two decided to cross those boundaries. Alix rejected the planned marriage to her cousin Prince Albert and fell in Love with Nicolas then, still the prince of the Russian empire. They got married in 1894 amid protests from the populace in both Britain and Russia. When Nicolas ascended the throne as Czar, anger against him and his father’s tyranny gave the revolution more public support.
Their son and heir to the throne Alexei also suffered from Hemophilia, forcing the king and queen to rely on the help of the famous mad monk Grigori Rasputin to help their son and also advise them politically. The royalty lost touch with the populace, which is why Vladimir Lenin ordered Nicolas II, his wife, and their four children to be murdered in 1917. They loved each other straight into their graves.
Napoleon and Josephine
Josephine Beauharnais was a widow whose husband was hanged while she escaped the fate because of an overnight regime change in France. During the short transition period, she met Napoleon and used her charm to make the young general her lover. Napoleon fell deeply in love with her, although she was only having fun with him and using him for security. She was older than Napoleon, and their marriage wasn’t sanctioned by the church, but Napoleon lied about her age, changed her name from Rosa to Josephine, and had a priest conduct a rush wedding for them.
When Napoleon went to fight in Italy, he received news of how his wife was having affairs. Josephine, not willing to lose her new-found status, plotted a coup back in France that would mean Napoleon would be the emperor upon his return. Now, you won’t divorce the woman that made you king, right? The two became the most powerful couple that shaped the image of France and Europe from the chaos that preceded Napoleon’s reign.
King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
This is the affair that saw the whole of England withdraw from the catholic church, and the king become the head of the Church of England. Henry was married to Katherine, his older brother’s widow, and had lost interest in the marriage when he met the fair Anne Boleyn. The two started an affair, and Anne got pregnant, meaning the king only had two options, admit to being unfaithful or legally marry his mistress.
He chose to marry Anne and asked the pope to annul his marriage to Katherine, but Pope Clement VII wouldn’t have any of his nonsense. Henry then made a deal with archbishop Cranmer, who advised him to declare the church of England independent of the catholic church. Cranmer then granted Henry the annulment and conducted his wedding to Anne. The wedding only lasted a thousand days before Henry executed Anne for adultery, but England and Rome were split forever.
Pierre and Marie Currie
Here is how it goes: Two scientists fall in love and boom; they discover radioactive elements together, and sadly, they both die because they didn’t know how to handle these elements. However, after they die, they still become the father and mother of nuclear power. Their story was also very romantic as Mary refused Pierre’s first proposal in 1890, hoping to go back and work in a lab back home in Poland.
When the chauvinism in her home country prevented her from achieving her life’s dream, she came back to Paris, where Pierre, then a physics professor, treated her as an equal. The two fell in love and had a crazy wedding where a lab coat was the wedding dress and a bike ride around Paris, their honeymoon. They went ahead to win the Nobel Prize together for their discovery of radioactive elements.
Gary Hart and Donna Rice
Gary Hart had a clear lead against H.W. Bush in 1989 and was already being predicted to become the next POTUS when things went wild. Hart, then the Colorado senator, was accused by The Herald of having an affair with a 29-year old model Donna Rice. Hart denied the allegations on live interviews until the Herald published a photo of him and his mistress together on a summer vacation in 1987 in a rather compromising embrace.
Times were different then, and Hart’s ratings plummeted overnight. The DP had obviously lost their front runner forcing the party to front Michael Dukakis in Gary Hart’s place. Dukakis was a long ask by the party because he wasn’t as bold and charismatic as Gary Hart. That is how George H. W. Bush became the president.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
The marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert of Germany is the wedding that made white wedding dresses popular for posterity, but its impact was greater on Britain. Albert was a German prince, so you can guess how Britons received the news when Victoria proposed to him in 1839. Yes! Victoria did the proposing. The princes fell in love with the charming Albert in 1836 when he came to England for her 17th birthday.
Their love was real (despite Victoria’s frequent angry outbursts at Albert), as revealed by Victoria’s letters to Albert in the National Archives. Their marriage also heralded one of the longest reigns by a British Monarch in history. When Albert died in 1861, the queen was devastated and went into seclusion, mourning the love of her life for three years, causing the people to start wondering. Their marriage was, however, blessed with nine children that now make the large Royal Family.
Judy Exner And J F Kennedy
John Franklin Kennedy was famous as a president having been seen as the young and ambitious leader of the free world that would take man to the moon and all of those praises. The young president was, however, immortalized after his controversial assassination that has never been resolved to date. Among the theories about the cause of his death, his affair with Judy Exner remains the most convincing. So, did Judy Exner, the mistress to both the POTUS and Giancana, the crime lord of Chicago, cause his death.
There were rumours that Giancana helped Kennedy win his narrow victory in Chicago and that Exner was his connection to the president. Exner’s affair with Giancana also ended just two years before the president’s assassination while she continued seeing the president until his death. This has led to the assumption that the president’s assassination may well have been a revenge hit for his ungratefulness to the Godfather Of Chicago.