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We Fall in Love with 5 Perfect Love Matches through History

Photo by Jennifer Murray on

It’s February… Can you feel the love in the air?  We definitely can. After all, we are romantics at heart, here at Julianna Rae!  And, with romance on our minds, we started to wonder about the most famous love matches in history.  Once we started a list we realized that not only are these love matches famous for their love stories but we have come to understand that they can also be messy sometimes!  Read on to find out our favorite 5…

Cleopatra and Mark Antony (30BC)

Described as one of the most iconic of love affairs, the story of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII has been retold for more than 2,000 years. Photo: Movie poster artwork from the 1963 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

When we mentioned messy, this is the one we had in mind.  This love story comes complete with passion, infidelity, political intrigue, and ultimately the lovers’ deaths.  They were inseparable and both had grand political ambitions which were only magnified by their union. To summarize this love story, Cleopatra falls for the already married Marc Antony.  Upon his wife’s death, Antony goes on to marry someone else for political reasons while Cleopatra is pregnant with their child.  When war breaks out in the Empire and with no refuge to flee to, Antony throws himself onto his sword thinking that Cleopatra had also committed suicide.  It would be months later and while in captivity when Cleopatra would end her own life with a bite from a poisonous snake. 

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal (1607-1631)

Photo: Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal depicted on an art poster from the 80s,

Although you may not instantly recognize the names of these two lovers, their love spawned one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.  Jahan, a young Persian prince, and Mumtaz, the daughter of the Emperor, fell instantly in love after meeting in a marketplace and married after a five-year engagement.   Even though the prince married additional wives both before and after his marriage to Mumtaz, those relationships were purely for political reasons and he loved Mumtaz intensely until her death 24 years later.  When Mumtaz died in childbirth with their 14th child, Shah Jahan was inconsolable and went into mourning for a year.  After this mourning period, Jahan rejoined society but his grief was so great that his hair had turned white, his back was bent and his face was weathered with age.  He commissioned the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his lover and the monument is seen as an embodiment of undying love and marital devotion. 

Elizabeth Barret and John Browning (1843 – 1861)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning by Thomas Buchanan Read (1852)

Barret and Browning had one of the most famous courtships in literature.  For the mid-1800s,  both were considered “past their prime,” with Elizabeth, in her 40s and nearly immobile, and John, at the age of 32, having decided that finding the right woman was impossible.   Upon meeting they fell into an electrifying courtship which drew her father’s anger.  They secretly married a year later and lived happily together for 15 years until Elizabeth’s death in John’s arms.  Their friends were in awe of their marriage and remarked that it was one of “reciprocal admiration, adoration, devotion, and respect”.  These two literary giants also shared over 500 love letters, and Barrett was inspired to pen the most memorable opening line of a sonnet… “How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.”  

Marie and Pierre Curie

Marie and Pierre Curie were perfect partners in love and science! Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Marie and Pierre were clearly a perfect match and true partners.  Not only did they have a true love for each other but their shared love and devotion to science brought untold benefits to society.  Pierre championed Marie’s work in a world when misogyny was rampant. As a result of his support, she discovered the elements polonium and radium.  Together they won a Nobel prize in physics for discovering radioactivity…but not without a struggle.  Pierre had to forcefully advocate for Marie when she was left off of the Nobel nomination because she was a woman.  When they relented, Marie became the first woman to win a Nobel prize. We love this endearing power couple! 

Johnny Cash and June Carter (1968 – 2003)


Johnny Cash and June Carter were already big stars when they met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.  They fell in love while touring together and eventually married in 1968.  June was a calming presence in Johnny’s life and was credited with helping him recover from drug addiction, solidifying their love bond.  When Johnny Cash was asked to define paradise, he referenced June and said “this morning, with her, having coffee.”  Aw!

We hope these love stories inspire you to celebrate your own this Valentine’s Day because every love story has a beginning and yours should be your favorite!  If you’re looking for a gift for your perfect love match then check out our “Perfect Match” sale for 30% off on selected items.  See you in the next blog!

Deb Fries works at Julianna Rae in Customer Service and writes for the blog at