Right from Adam and Eve to Paris and Helen, there have been many famous couples in history. Whether real-life or mythical, their stories continue to inspire us till date.
Love rests on no foundation. It is an endless ocean, with no beginning or end.
– Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
Do you believe in long-lasting love? Or don’t you believe that love-at-first-sight can turn into a lifelong passion and companionship? True love is eternal and timeless. It is often blind in the sense that you become oblivious to all the negativities surrounding it. If you discard this thought as meaningless, take a look at the love stories of some of the most popular couples in history, whose undying love for each other have stood the test of time throughout centuries. Here is a list of famous lovers of the past, whose love stories have become legends and symbols of true, immortal love.
*The list is in alphabetical order.
Famous Real-life Couples
Antony and Cleopatra
Many of us have heard or read the love story of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. It is believed that this powerful couple (he was a Roman general and she was an Egyptian Queen) fell in love with each other in their first meeting. Their love was doomed when their joint forces lost in the Battle of Actium. Antony committed suicide (either due to losing in a battle or by hearing the false news of Cleopatra’s death), and Cleopatra, unable to live without Antony, followed suit.
Emperor Shah Jahan and Queen Mumtaz Mahal
The love between Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Queen Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Banu) led to the construction of one of the most beautiful monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal. Mumtaj Mahal died while giving birth to the couple’s 14th child, which grieved the Emperor to no end. He built the Taj Mahal (mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal) in the memory of his beautiful wife. Today, it is one of the greatest structures symbolizing eternal love in the whole world.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
The most sensational Hollywood or celebrity love stories of all time is that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They met on the sets of movie Cleopatra, and from then on, started the fiercely intense crazy romance. They divorced their respective partners, married each other in 1964, and divorced in 1974. Interestingly, they married again in 1975 to be divorced again after a year. Although unable to live with each other, they both passionately loved each other till the end.
King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
True love requires sacrifice, but, one of the biggest sacrifice was made by David, or King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, when he abdicated his throne to marry his love Wallis Simpson. He was the King of United Kingdom and the Emperor of India, and she was a twice-divorced American socialite. They married and remained so for 35 years, until his death. Edward VIII could never bear to live without his Duchess even for a single day, and was found dejected and melancholic in her absence.
Napoleon and Josephine
Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine were married when he was a general in the army and she was a wealthy widow. They married for convenience, but grew to love each other with utter passion. They both committed adultery, parted ways as Josephine couldn’t produce an heir, and Napoleon remarried; but the love and undying passion between the two never faltered. In fact, the last words of Emperor Napoleon were, “France, armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine.” (France, army, head of the army, Joséphine).
❤ Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and Nefertiti
❤ Bajirao and Mastani
❤ Brandon Lee and Eliza Hutton
❤ Clark Gable and Carole Lombard
❤ Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
❤ Frank Butler and Annie Oakley
❤ Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt
❤ Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
❤ Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III
❤ Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi
❤ Héloïse and Abelard
❤Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
❤ Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir
❤ Justinian and Theodora
❤ John and Abigail Adams
❤ John and Jacqueline Kennedy
❤ John Lennon and Yoko Ono
❤ Julius Caesar and Cleopatra
❤ Juan Perón and Eva Perón
❤ Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley
❤ Marie and Pierre Curie
❤ Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley
❤ Pocahontas and John Smith
❤ Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning
❤ Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
❤ Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier
Famous Mythical Couples
Lancelot and Guinevere
Lancelot and Guinevere is one of the famous couple of the Arthurian legend. Sir Lancelot was a knight in King Arthur’s Round Table, who fell in love with Queen Guinevere, Arthur’s wife. Their secret affair is revealed leading to unfortunate events like death penalties for the two, division of the Knights, and weakening of Arthur’s kingdom. Sir Lancelot saves Guinevere from death. Both spend their last days in seclusion, he as a hermit, and she as a nun.
Layla and Majnun
The story of Layla (also Laila) and Majnun (also Majnu) is a popular tragic Persian love story from the poem of Nizami Ganjavi, an Persian poet. The story is told in many versions. In one of the most popular version, Majnun falls in love with Layla at the first sight, but, they cannot get married as Layla’s parents do not approve of the match. Majnun cannot bear this and spends the rest of his life singing poems for his beloved, and is pronounced a mad man.
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, the most famous star-crossed lovers in the world, are fictitious characters in William Shakespeare’s tragedy by the same name. These two belong to two feuding families, fall in love with each other, and meet with tragic and untimely end. The story of Romeo and Juliet symbolizes unconditional love, sacrifice, and tragedy.
Salim and Anarkali
This is one of the most popular couples in the Indian history. There is a great debate on the verity of the love story between Prince Salim (later Emperor Jahangir) and a beautiful courtesan Anarkali. Emperor Akbar (Prince Salim’s father), enraged by the love between the Prince and the commoner, orders death sentence to Anarkali, and she is entombed alive.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler
This is a fictitious couple from the novel Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett O’Hara is a beautiful, strong-willed Southern belle, who is crazily in love with a married man, Ashley Wilkes. Rhett Butler is an infamous, courageous blockade runner. They have similar temperaments, and are different from people of their society. Rhett is enamored by Scarlett from the day he sees her, but, Scarlett does not realize her love of him until the end.
❤ Adam and Eve
❤ Acme and Septimus
❤ Apollo and Daphne
❤ Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy
❤ Granida and Daifilo
❤ Heathcliff and Catherine
❤ Hero and Leander
❤ Jane Eyre and Rochester
❤ Orpheus and Eurydice
❤ Odysseus and Penelope
❤ Othello and Desdemona
❤ Paris and Helen
❤ Paolo and Francesca
❤ Pyramus and Thisbe
❤ Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl
❤ Rama and Sita
❤ Shakuntala and Dushyant
❤ Tristan and Isolde
❤ Vertumnus and Pomona
These love stories have even inspired popular literature in the world. There have been many other couples known for their undying, selfless, and unconditional love for each other. In case you know any famous couples or love stories, please mention in the comments section given below.