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Love Conquers All: The Greatest Love Stories of All Time

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MCLA chapter.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we can’t forget about the one thing that has inspired moments in TV, literature, film and even real life. Every moment in history and life has had its moments where brave men have fought to win the hands of fair ladies, the knight riding to the rescue of the princess and even men and women who overcame the odds just so they could be together. Whether it’s in movies, fairy tales, novels or even in the Bible itself, here are the top 10 greatest love stories of all time. 

1. Mary and Joseph

Whether you’re religious or not, many people are familiar with the famous Biblical story of Mary and Joseph, but what’s truly compelling is the love they both shared for each other and for Jesus when he was growing up. Joseph was willing to stay with Mary no matter what, even when she was with child and not yet married and when they were forced to flee to Egypt. Their story has inspired many authors, writers, poets and filmmakers over the years and even became the subject of the novel “Two from Galilee” by Marjorie Holmes. It’s a beautiful story and one that continues to be a huge inspiration for many. 

2. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

This story is brought to us from the history books of India, telling the story of a 16 year old nobleman’s daughter who married the Emperor of India in 1612. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal ruled India together for 17 years and his queen bore him 14 children. In 1629, Mumtaz Mahal perished in childbed after the birth of their daughter Gauharara. Shortly thereafter, Shah Jahan decided to erect a monument to his queen which later became one of the national symbols of India… the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan was later buried beside his wife and there the two remain… together for all eternity. 

3. Victoria and Albert

Queen Victoria is one of the most famous queens in all of history but her life couldn’t have been without her better half, Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg. The pair were married in February of 1840 and together raised a family of nine children—but in 1861, Albert passed away from complications due to a stomach illness. Victoria deeply loved her husband and relied on his sound advice as queen and for forty years after, she mourned Albert’s passing and dressed only in black. When Victoria passed away in 1901, she was buried beside her beloved Albert in the family’s mausoleum. 

4. Marie and Pierre Curie

A pair of scientists who worked together to make advanced discoveries and created a famous partnership, Marie and Pierre Curie were not only a famous pair of scientists, but they shared a bond unlike any other. Marie left Poland when she was young due to the universities turning her away because they did not accept women into their studies. When she arrived at the Sorbonne in France, she met Pierre and the two worked closely together before marrying in 1895. The pair made numerous discoveries including polonium and radium and even won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903. In 1904, Pierre had passed away, after being hit by a horse and carriage. After, Marie vowed to carry on his work until she too was reunited with her husband after a battle with leukemia in 1934. 

5. John and Abigail Adams

Two of the most well-known figures in Colonial History, John and Abigail Adams were a force to be reckoned with but it was his wife Abigail who kept him grounded during one of the toughest periods of American History. The American Revolution was in full swing, colonists wanted King George III to relinquish control and throughout the nation political upheaval was EVERYWHERE. Yet John and Abigail both pulled through, one giving the other sound advice and help wherever it was needed. As of today, there are more than 1,000 letters they wrote to each other, an example of the unbreakable bond they both shared through one of history’s toughest days. 

6. Johnny Cash and June Carter

“The man in black” and June Carter were probably one of the most iconic couples in country music, both meeting backstage at a show at the Grand Ole Opry. The pair hit it off very quickly and in 1968 they were married. Johnny and June stuck together like glue and remained together for more than 30 years. John credited June with helping him recover from drug addiction and even helped him get his life back on track. However, June had passed away in May of 2003, four months before Johnny who had recorded his rendition of the song “Hurt” very shortly thereafter. When John was asked what his definition of paradise was, he replied “This morning with her, having coffee.” 

7. Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon

One a king of France and the other a peasant girl born in a prison precinct, the story of The Sun King and the love of his life begins with her becoming governess to the royal bastards. Francoise D-Aubinge was recruited to take care of the children belonging to Louis XIV and his many mistresses but in the most unusual way she had caught the king’s eye. Where his mistresses tended to be fiery and passionate, Madame de Maintenon was on the more modest side, very religious and quiet unlike many of the king’s other mistresses. Their bond was so deep that after the passing of Queen Marie Therese, Louis took Madame de Maintenon as his wife in secret, remaining married until Louis’s passing in 1715. 

8. Ronald and Nancy Reagan

The former President of the United States and the former First Lady is a story that is still well known in America and in Hollywood. In the early 1950s, Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and his future wife Nancy Davis was an aspiring actress. The pair met and married shortly thereafter but who would have thought they would become President and First Lady? Ron and Nancy were not only heavily involved with the American people, but they were extremely devoted to each other. After they left the White House, Ron was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Nancy devoted herself to caring for her husband. Ronald Reagan passed in 2004, but their example still endures as (in the words of actor Charlton Heston) “the greatest love affair of the American Presidency.”

9. Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly

Who could forget in 1956 when Prince Rainier married actress Grace Kelly? The pair had met at the Cannes Film Festival and were married a year later. Grace soon became Princess of Monaco with two daughters, Caroline and Stephanie, coming into the fold and the two remained together until Grace’s passing in 1982. 

10. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning

Two great literary minds think alike and never was this more apparent in the tale of Elizabeth and Robert Browning, two great poets of the Victorian age who bonded over their love of the written word. Elizabeth’s strict father disliked Robert to such an extent that their courtship had to be conducted in secret. The pair eloped in Italy much to the discontent of Elizabeth’s father but the pair led a very happy life together for over fifteen years. In 1861, Elizabeth had passed away but together, the pair gained great public recognition for their work, much of which is still immortalized along with their love for each other.

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