Thursday, 9 September 2021

5 Most Famous Epic Love Triangles That Changed World History

Some of the most famous romances that truly changed the face of the world and the course of history were love triangles of powerful people.


This becomes rather dangerous when it involves the most powerful people in history. Some of the most infamous love triangles have brought nations to their knees, caused the deaths of thousands, and inspired great works of art.


Love is one of the driving forces of human nature. It inspires us to make unwise decisions, and sometimes completely change our lives. If it's passionate, dramatic, and painful, it's all the more addictive, but wreaks even greater havoc.

It takes a hell of a woman to be in the middle of a love triangle. It’s not every female who can handle being at the center of an intense game of tug of war with hearts (and sometimes lives!) at stake. There were plenty of other real-life love triangles throughout history that were just as scandalous. Here we count down our top five…


(1) The Love Triangle That Formed a New Church

(Henry VIII the King of England. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn.)

Known as the Lord of Love Triangles, Henry VIII was the King of England.


King of love triangles, Henry VIII was bound to be the first person in this historical list. As King of England, Henry  had many wives, inspiring movies, shows, and countless works of art. But, it is perhaps the lengths he went to in order to be able to marry his second wife, Anne Boleyn, that are truly astounding.

Henry Vlll King of England

Henry VIII pretty much formed a new Church just for the sake of getting away from his first wife. Catherine of Aragon was a Spanish princess who was married to Henry’s late elder brother.


King Henry viii if England

Catherine married her first husband’s little brother. Historians tell us that despite multiple miscarriages, stillbirths, and Henry’s numerous affairs, Catherine remained a devout loving wife.

King Henry Vlll with  Anne Boleyn --Shooting  Deer 

Things changed quickly when the King fell in love with Catherine’s assistant, Anne Boleyn. Poor Catherine hadn’t given birth to a male heir to the throne. Boleyn didn’t just want a cheap fling; she wanted Henry to marry her.


 Anne was extremely smart and political; she didn’t just want to be the King’s mistress, she wanted to be Queen!

Catherine De Argon


Henry turned to the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sought and divorce but the Pope simply refused. That’s when Henry broke off from Rome and formed a new Anglican Church.

Anne Boleyn

Now being the head of the new Church, he could arrange a divorce, which he ultimately did. Catherine was disheartened. Henry and Anne got married and had the future Queen Elizabeth I. So that’s how a love triangle formed a new Church.

2. King Louis XIV of France And His Two Lady Loves.

(Louis XIV, Madame de Montespan, and Madame de Maintenon.)

Louis XIV (1638–1715), also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King ,was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in history.


Like many people with too much time and money on their hands, the royals that occupied Versailles in the 18th century are reputed to have indulged in complete debauchery. They were the forerunners of excess, establishing the principals of overindulgence. Louis XIV, the Sun King, was particularly known for his behavior with women. 

King Louse lv of France

 Throughout his life, he had a myriad of affairs before, during, and after his marriage to Queen Marie Thérèse.


Louis’s first marriage was with his first cousin Maria Theresa of Spain. He cheated on her all the time.

Queen Maria Thresa ,King Louise lv king of France with Family 


It was commonly known and accepted that the French kings had mistresses, in addition to their official wife, the queen. Mistresses were much more put forward at the Court than the queen even was. The latter only had two roles at the Versailles Court: ensure the king had descendants, and act in charity work. 

Queen Maria Thresa if Spain

For all the rest, including the common Court life and the king’s entertainment, the role bestowed upon the royal mistresses.

Madame de Maintenon

Among the many, three main mistresses dominate Louis XIV’s long reign: Louise de Lavallière, the Marquess of Montespan and Madame de Maintenon


Never was the role of the mistress to ever replace the queen: she was always supposed to only be his companion. Of the three, however, the latter, Madame de Maintenon, will know a fate that none other had.

Marquess of Montespan

From mistress to wife

Originally, Madame de Maintenon was supposed to be the nanny of the children Louis XIV had with his previous mistress, Madame de Montespan. As he gets older, and tired of Madame de Montespan’s personality, Louis XIV slowly turned to Madame de Maintenon who became his confident, his lover. The death of queen Marie-Thérèse, marked a turning point in the mistress’s life.


Madame Maintenon 

Despite all usages and the fact that Madame de Maintenon was not part of the higher nobility, the king decided to marry her, less than three months after the passing of his wife.


Louise de Lavallière

Louise de Lavallière with children

The wedding took place in high secrecy, which means she only became the king’s wife, but not the queen. Madame de Maintenon thus benefited from a very special place at the Court and in the king’s life and heart, until the very end of his reign. 

This is the first time in French history that a king married one of his mistresses.


3. The Love Triangle That Rome became the new super power of the world.

(Mark Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavia)

Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic pharaoh of Egypt enjoyed her romances with both Julius Caesar and his pupil Mark Antony.


However, the actual love triangle included Cleopatra, Antony, and Antony’s wife, Octavia. Octavia was Caesar’s great-niece.


Antony abandoned Octavia and that’s why Augustus (Octavia’s brother) and Antony went to battle and as a result, the Roman Empire was formed.


There is no denying that by the time Cleopatra came into power, Egypt was in steady decline. The only way she could help save her empire was by gaining an external support — that’s when Julius Caesar entered the picture.


The strengthening of Egyptian-Roman ties with an affair

After Cleopatra became the Egyptian ruler, her brother turned husband tried sabotaging her.


He wanted the entire Egyptian empire for himself and went to great lengths to win the trust of the council members of the kingdom. Still burning with the desire to save her empire, Cleopatra decided to approach the mighty Caesar and convince him to help keep her empire.


After Caesar defeated Pompey, he was in Alexandria. During this grand celebration, Cleopatra hatched a plan to convince the Roman dictator before he too would fall prey to her brother’s tactics. She smuggled herself into the royal palace and perfectly landed in Caesar’s room.


Caesar was taken by the Egyptian Pharaoh at first glance. After coaxing him to sleep with her, Cleopatra revealed the distress she had faced back in Egypt. Caesar immediately agreed to help her by providing her with all the support she needed, and thus Cleopatra got what she came for.


That affair didn’t end there.

Soon Cleopatra discovered that she was pregnant with Caesar's child. She bore Caesar, his only son and named him Ptolemy Caesar or Caesarian (meaning: little Caesar). Hearing this news, the Romans were outraged. Having an heir with semi-Roman blood from the ‘uncivilized’ Egyptian society was unacceptable to them.


The situation only escalated after Caesar died. Cleopatra was convinced to raise his son as the heir to Rome. On the other hand, Caesar passed on his legacy to his grandnephew Octavian or Augustus.


However, Roman general Mark Antony was also in competition for power. With Cleopatra around, Augustus set his eyes on the Egyptian empire to expand his governance. Cleopatra, once again, found her kingdom at the brink of danger.


The second affair to save the empire

When Cleopatra was in Rome, she became friends with Mark Antony. With her authority in danger once again, she requested to meet Antony in Tarsus (present-day Turkey). Just as she seduced Caesar into the deal, she planned to try similar but grander tactics to attract Antony towards her and gain his trust.


This goes without saying: Antony was so taken with Cleopatra that he forgot why he came in the first place. Instead, he left his wife in Rome and spent maximum time with this lady Pharaoh at Tarsus. Within a year, Cleopatra gave birth to Antony’s twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II.


However, this happy love story didn’t last for long.

At the other end in Rome, Augustus went on a rampage to assert that he deserved the sole power. When the news of the recent affair of Antony with Cleopatra reached Augustus, he declared war against the Egyptian empire. Wanting to save his lover’s pride, Antony too participated in the war — that didn’t end well for the lovers.


Augustus was successful at defeating the Egyptians and overtook the empire. Through this long and bloody battle, not only did Augustus win over the Pharaoh, but he was also successful at defeating Antony — and thus became the first sole ruler of the Roman Empire.


Humiliated and defeated, Antony tried killing himself by falling on his sword — an old Roman tradition — but he was unsuccessful at that as well. His wounded body was then taken to Cleopatra, who was hiding in a mausoleum.


Antony took his last breath in his lover’s arms and met his tragic ending. Unable to face the embarrassment of losing her kingdom, Cleopatra too soon died.


With Cleopatra’s death, Egypt became part of the Roman Empire. Augustus (Octavia’s brother) erased all traces of the once glorious couple, but he did make one concession. Honoring her last request, he had Cleopatra and Antony buried side by side.


Thus came an end to the age of Pharaohs, and Rome became the new super power of the world.


4. A King, An American Lover, and Her Husband

(Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson, and Ernest Simpson.)

When love is more important than the crown.

Edward, the handsome Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, changed the course of his life, as well as that of British history, when he fell in love with Wallis Warfield Simpson—a woman who was not only American, but also married.


Wallis Simpson is perhaps one of the most famous women in modern history thanks to her involvement in one of the 20th century’s most shocking love triangles. Simpson was the reason why King Edward VIII abdicated the throne and Elizabeth II eventually became Queen.


When he was Prince of Wales, Edward (called "David," after one of his many middle names) took lots of mistresses, but it was Mrs. Simpson who finally captured his heart. Why didn't he marry her right away?


She was divorced (as future head of the Church of England, Edward technically couldn't marry a divorcée, although his great-nephew, Prince Charles, changed that). Also, she was technically still married to the American Ernest Simpson.


Edward met Simpson at a party in 1931, hosted by Lady Thelma Furness, a viscountess with whom Edward had conducted a long relationship.


Edward was not instantly smitten, but he and the upwardly-mobile Mrs. Simpson traveled in the same social circles, and after many society balls and dinner parties he was slowly captivated by her charm and poise.


By 1934, Wallis was separated from her husband, and British Parliament grew increasingly nervous over the relationship. Then, in 1936, Edward's father died, and he was forced to take his position as king. But his brief stay on the throne only created media frenzy due to his relationship with Simpson.


Miserable, Edward abdicated the throne in a famous radio broadcast in which he told the world that he "found it impossible to carry the heavy burden" of being king without the support of "the woman he loved."


Edward's younger brother, Albert, became King George VI and his niece Elizabeth the future Queen. Since the title Prince of Wales can only be held by the eldest son of the sovereign, Edward was made the Duke of Windsor.


King George made sure that his brother kept the courtesy title of His Royal Highness, but he also pointedly decreed that should he marry Wallis, she (and any children they produced) would be denied royal status.


After Simpson's divorce in 1937, Edward and Wallis were married in a small ceremony with only 20 guests present. The nation vilified Wallis for her manipulation of a monarch and, most understandably, hanging out with Nazi officials.


But some theorize that she did England a favor by taking David off the throne, as he was reportedly quite unstable. They spent most of the rest of their lives in France.


(5) U.S. President Who Killed a Guy For Chivalry’s Sake

The 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson killed a guy who insulted his loving wife, Rachel.

Andrew Jackson took the life of a guy who insulted his beloved wife, Rachel. Technically, they weren't married for a long time, as Rachel was still legally wed to her first husband, who would get physical (although she believed herself to be divorced). The Jacksons re-married in 1794, three years after their first union, once Rachel was free.


Andrew was notoriously devoted to Rachel and was furious when his political opponents insulted her as a religious country bumpkin. One guy, Charles Dickinson, dared to mention the bigamy scandal and accused Jackson of not paying up on a bet.


He even published an essay dissing his rival. Outraged, Andrew challenged Dickinson to a duel. Jackson wrote, "Your conduct and expressions relative to me of late have been of such a nature and so insulting that requires, and shall have my notice…I hope, Sir, your courage will be an ample security to me, that I will obtain speedily that satisfaction due me for the insults offered."


In 1806, the two met for a duel. Jackson was hit during the first round (meaning he technically lost). But this was part of his strategy.


He re-loaded and shot again, killing Dickinson in a technical violation of duel rules. Jackson wasn't prosecuted for taking Dickinson's life, as dueling was considered a legitimate form of settling grievances at the time.


When reading about these stories, one can’t help but think about how history could have been written differently if they did not take place. How much of our world would be different? How much of our culture and mores would change? We probably will never know, although it is still important to recognize how much these love affairs have affected the course of our known history.

The End

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