...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's

I am a hopeless romantic. I admit it. I love a sappy card. Nothing like a chick-flick to capture my attention. I believe in Valentine's. Life gets busy, we take things for granted, February 14th is just a day to pay a little more attention, to be kinder, to smile, to see the good in others. To succumb to the mystique, even if only for a fleeting moment. Thirty-seven years ago today, my husband proposed to me. Four days after our first date. Ten months later we were married. And the rest is history.

Today, I thought I'd speak to the softer side of life, to romance, to couples, fictional and real.

 Romeo and Juliet came from feuding families: the Montagues and the Capulets. Although they met by accident, it quickly became clear that the two teenagers were fated to be. With the assistance of a friar, they devised a plan that would ensure they could remain together. After the friar married the couple, he gave Juliet a vial of potion that would allow her to appear dead, but in reality would simply put her into a deep sleep. Once her family found her body and placed in the tomb, the friar would send for Romeo to rescue Juliet. Unfortunately, news of Juliet's death reached Romeo before he received notice of the friar's plan. Thinking that Juliet is dead and vowing to be with her forever, Romeo purchased a vile of poison for himself. After entering Juliet's tomb and kissing his beloved, Romeo took the poison. Shortly after, Juliet awoke to find Romeo lying dead beside her. In unbelievable anguish, she took his dagger and plunged  it into her heart, ensuring they would be together, even in death. (from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9)

 Antony a soldier of Rome under the rule of Octavius Caesar and Aemilius Lepidus, was infatuated with Cleopatra. He fought the attraction going so far as to marry the sister of Octavius (Octavia). But Cleopatra figured
out a way to get Antony to come to Alexandria where she exposed the fact that Octavius and Lepidus had broken the triumphant that had been agreed upon. Antony crowned Cleopatra and himself rulers of Egypt and the eastern third of the Roman Empire, which was Antony's share of land awarded to him as part of the triumphant. Octavius, displeased with Antony's actions declares war. The battle, fought on the sea, where the navy of Octavius was lighter, more mobile, and better-manned, frightened Antony who was used to fighting on land. Cleopatra, in a grand show of support, pledged her fleet to aid Antony. However in the middle of the battle, Cleopatra fled thinking that Antony had been killed. Antony followed, leaving his army in ruin. Ashamed of his actions, Antony branded himself a coward, but still could not bare to part himself from Cleopatra. With her encouragement, he eventually agreed to fight one final battle against Octavius. But, many of his men deserted him and he could not continue. No longer able to deal with what he had done, Antony attempted suicide with his own sword, managing only to seriously wound himself. Cleopatra, hearing of Antony's actions, locked herself in her monument, vowing to die with Antony's name on her lips. She had Antony's body hoisted up into the monument with her where he died in her arms. Realizing that her one true love was gone and that Octavius planned to take her back to Rome in shame, Cleopatra killed herself using the poison of an asp. When Octavius discovered the bodies of the two lovers, he took pity on the tragedy of their undying love and he agreed to bury them together. (from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9)

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
  Alexandrina Victoria, Queen Victoria, met her distant cousin, Prince Albert in 1839. It is said that she fell immediately in love with the young man. They were married in 1840. Victoria bore nine children over the next eighteen years. Albert was well known as Victoria's advisor, confidante, and best friend. She valued his opinion above that of most of her own state advisors. There were nearly always inseparable. Prince Albert died of typhoid fever in December of 1861. Victoria continued to carry out her constitutional duties but she completely withdrew from the public view. She even refused requests from her government to open Parliament in person. Although there were some rumblings about Victoria's involvement with John Brown, a Scottish servant, most historians believe their relationship was strictly one of plutonic friendship since Victoria never appeared to recover from the death of her beloved Prince. (from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9)

 Robert and Elizabeth Browning
Few literary couples can conjure up the image of the love affair created by Robert and Elizabeth Browning. Elizabeth suffered a severe spinal injury at age 15, causing her to be confined to bed. To fill the time, she began seriously writing poetry something she had started as a hobby at the tender age of 13. In 1844, she published her first complete book entitled Poems. Her work impressed another poet by the name of Robert Browning. He corresponded with Elizabeth and they began a courtship by mail. Eventually they met and fell in love, becoming engaged in 1845. However, the opposition of their union from Elizabeth's father forced them to elope in 1846. They eventually fled to Italy where they lived and worked for 15 years. Their own long romance and the many poems written to one another inspired a great deal of their combined work. Upon Elizabeth's death in 1861, Browning returned to England where he continued to work until his own death in 1889. (from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/117920/historys_greatest_lovers.html?cat=9)

     Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III
Known as the wealthiest bachelor in the world, Prince Rainier once broke off plans to marry a girlfriend because she was infertile. Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier in May, 1955, when Grace was attending the Cannes Film Festival and had agreed to be photographed with the Prince for Paris Match. She was 26 years old. The Prince was just a few days shy of being 32. After the photo shoot, the Prince and Grace visited the Prince's gardens and small zoo.
Their second meeting was a dinner date and a meeting with Grace's family.

Engagement:In December, 1955, the engagement of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier was announced. He first gave her an friendship ring of diamonds and rubies. Her engagement ring was a twelve-carat emerald-cut diamond ring.

Weddings:Grace and Prince Rainier had two weddings: one was a civil wedding, and the other a religious ceremony.

What is your love story? Who is your favorite couple?


AB HOME Interiors said...

Oh Burton and taylor...true passionate love! Have a happy valentines day!

Pam said...

Great post! I never knew that Queen Victoria married her cousin. First time her, so I'm going to go check out some of your other posts!

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

Love this post, Marlis, just learned some new things! My love story? My husband and I met the night before our best friends married each other. Lightning struck and we were engaged 6 months later. That was 18 years ago. I am a die hard Romeo and Juliet, and I still remember the movie theater I was in when my class saw that movie, with those two playing the roles.

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Such a beautiful post Marlis. These are some great stories. I LOVED the fictional "Love Story", it came out when I was 16 and I WAS In LOVE with the soundtrack of it and played it 'All The Time"! I even bought the sheet music and played it on my piano and "SANG IT"... Thank you for the great post AND my memories...
Hugs to you,

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I found that out the other day about Queen Victoria marrying her cousin. How funny to hear it again so soon afterwards!!

What a romantic post - I'm such a romantic too!!



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