Anyone standing in the checkout line at a grocery store can’t miss the latest greatest love story. Headlines on every tabloid scream the names “Harry” and Meghan”.
From their first date through their engagement, the romance of Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle has dominated the news. It was the same for William and Kate and Charles and Diana.
I know more about Harry and Meghan than I care to admit, and I don’t read tabloids.
Time will tell if Harry and Meghan’s romance will one day vie for the greatest love story of the ages. The competition for that title has more history than Olympic gold medals.
As far as royals go, consider King Edward VIII. He tossed his crown to the wind to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson. On the upside, his successor, brother King George VI, had to deal with World War II.
On the downside, though they remained married until Edward’s death 35 years later, some say Simpson was not as vested in the relationship as her husband.
That wasn’t the case with Grace Kelly. The Oscar-winning actress was so enamored with Prince Rainier III of Monaco that she gave up fame—not fortune—moved to Monaco, and became a princess.
The two were what my friend Carolyn calls “equally yoked.” After his wife’s tragic 1982 death, Rainier never remarried.
It’s difficult to say if those royal romances upstage that of Abigail and John Adams. John and Abigail were lifelong friends. Then Cupid drew back his bow and the rest was, well, all about love.
John was attracted to Abigail’s quick wit and her courage to speak her mind. The two also shared a love for reading.
Over the course of 37 years of marriage, our second president and his main squeeze exchanged 1000-plus love letters. That probably amounts to around 10,000 text messages, but letters are far more romantic.
Guns, not books, were what first drew Frank Butler’s attention to the love of his life. Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Ann Mosley (aka Annie Oakley) stood taller than most at 5 feet.
She beat Butler in a shooting contest, and he was smitten for life. The two enjoyed 50 years of wedded and, no doubt, sharpshooting bliss. After his wife’s death, Butler refused to eat. He died 18 days later.
If I were a betting woman—I’m not, but if I were—I’d bet Johnny Cash was a fan of Frank and Annie.
When Cash was asked to use six words to describe paradise, he said, “This morning, with her, having coffee.”
Johnny’s story with June Carter (Cash) rivals the best of them and was well-documented in Walk the Line. If you haven’t seen the 2005 film, see it.
It would be a difficult task to choose the greatest of all love stories. One might argue for Bogie and Bacall or Hepburn and Tracy or Rhett and Scarlett. OK. Not Rhett and Scarlett.
Of Nancy, Ronald Reagan wrote, “Whatever I treasure and enjoy…all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you.”
Jackie Robinson said, “When they try to destroy me, it’s Rachel (his wife) who keeps me sane.” Rachel said Jackie was “a giant in my eyes.”
Gracie Allen told George (Burns), “You’re the only boy who ever made me cry. And I decided that if you could make me cry, I must really love you.”
Queen Victoria proposed to Albert. She said, “Without him, everything loses its interest.”
Charles Shultz said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
That’s how Gary McCutcheon won the heart of Genny Raikes. He sent a “Sweetie Treatie” to her 11th grade English class, and the rest was, well, like Abigail and John—all about love.