‘Romance’ refers to the emotional attachment between people, and when it is expressed publicly is known as public displays of affection (PDA), or simply as public romance. Celebrities are the most susceptible to the unpleasant intrusion into the privacy of their love affairs, and this impacts their careers negatively. Some high-profile romances which attracted public attention have been a sweet success story like the romance between the current Japanese Emperor Akihito and Michiko Shoda, Her Majesty, the Empress of Japan, who is the daughter of a wealthy industrialist though was a commoner as she was not from the royal descent. They met lot of resistance from the royal family, but finally in view of the public’s opinion, the romance ended in the historically famous and happy marriage. Not every romantic couple has been fortunate, and many romantic events culminated in disastrous endings. It is on record that there were kings who willfully abdicated the scepter and throne in favor of their love. At times, a high-profile politician, as high as the U.S. President, has had to step down on account of the innocent romance made scandalous by the opponents to achieve their vested political interests.
1. Diana and Fayed
Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdul Moneim Fayed, better known as Dodi Fayed, was born in Alexandria, Egypt as the son of the billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed on April 15, 1955 and died in a car accident along with Princess Diana on August 31, 1997. He was publicly known as the boyfriend of Diana, Princess of Wales. Their romance became public for the first time in July, 1997. Dodi Fayed was engaged to an American model, Kelly Fisher, but broke it off after his highly publicized romance with Princess Diana was revealed. Having spent nine days in France and Italy together on board Jonikal, a family yatch of Dodi Fayed, they stopped in Paris for a short time while on their way to London. On August 31, 1997, both died in the Mercedes Benz limousine crash. Both were not wearing seat belts and, according to some people, the driver was drunk and caused the accident while there are others who think that the root cause was the chasing of their car by some overambitious photographers and press reporters. Diana’s marriage ceremony was a great occasion, but her death was a shock for the people all over the world.
2. Clinton: Lewinsky Affair
The highly publicized political sex scandal of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky emerged in 1998. Monica was a 22-year-old intern in the White House. The extra-marital affair was investigated and culminated in impeachment proceedings of President Clinton. He was the second president to be subject to impeachment in the history of the U.S. During a television interview, he said that his affair with Monica was ‘a terrible moral error.’ During an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes, he remarked, ‘I don’t see the impeachment proceedings as a stain because it was illegitimate.’ It is said that he received $10 million for writing his memoir My Life.
3. King Emperor Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
The famous romance of King Emperor Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson was materially a total disaster, but spiritually it is perhaps a beacon of light for lovers all over the world. King Emperor Edward VIII desired to marry an American socialite divorcee, Wallis Simpson. It caused a Constitutional crisis as being the nominal Head of the Church of England he could not marry someone whose husband was still alive. He also faced severe resistance from religious, legal, and government institutions. Ultimately, he preferred to abdicate the British throne in favor of his love in December, 1936, married Wallis Simpson, and lived happily ever after.
4. Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler
Eva Anna Paula Hitler, better known as Eva Braun, was a photographer and a longtime companion of Adolph Hitler. She had photographed Hitler many times, and many of them survived. During the early days of her relationship, she attempted suicide twice. At the end of World War II, Braun swore loyalty to Hitler and went into his Fuhrerbunker. On April 29, 1945 when the Red Army marched in, she married Hitler in a brief civil ceremony, and within 40 hours of the marriage both committed suicide together in the sitting room of the bunker.
5. Britney Spears and Jason Alexander
Britney Spears is one of the most-popular female singers in the history of music. She has sold more than 54 million albums around the world since 1999. She invited her childhood friend, Jason Alexander, and flew to Las Vegas in her private jet. She wanted to do something crazy and asked Jason to just get married. Both 22-year-old friends quickly agreed upon it, and they got married in a little, white wedding chapel in Las Vegas. The lawyers of Britney Spears were quicker in action and got their surprise marriage annulled within 55 hours of its realization. An annulment is differentiated from a divorce in that the former ends the marriage as if it never occurred while, in the later case, its occurrence is recognized.
6. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were the famous celebrities of Hollywood, and Elizabeth Taylor was considered as the modern Cleopatra. Their blazing romance was frequently known as the marriage of the century. Burton’s touching letters, Furious Love, bring into light the hidden corners of their lives relating to their romance, love, movies, drinking, diamonds, and separations. Furious Love sheds light on many aspects including their circle of elite friends like: Princess Grace, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Peter O, Toole, Marlon Brando, Robert Kennedy, Aristotle Onasis, and many others. Their affair on the set of Cleopatra was condemned by the Vatican.
7. Mrs. Romanov and William Mons
Pytor Alexeyevich Romanov, better known as Peter the Great, ruled the Tsardom of Russia from May 7, 1682 to January 28, 1725. At the request of his wife Catherine, Peter entrusted Willem to manage her estates. In 1724, following Catherine’s coronation, he was promoted to the rank of Imperial Chamberlain. Soon after, Peter was enraged by the affections of Willem for the Empress. And on account of the romance having been known publicly, Peter ordered his execution. Willem’s head was preserved after being submerged in a jar of formaldehyde or alcohol, and it was kept in Catherine’s bedroom.
8. Messalina Valeria and Silanus
Messalina Valeria was the second wife of Tiberius Claudius Caesar, the Emperor of Rome. She was a lustful wife of her very knowledgeable husband. She liked the company of a prostitute called Scylia, and during a competition, proved herself as a more competent prostitute. She plotted against the Emperor and wanted to assassinate him. The Emperor came to know of her conspiracy and her public romance, particularly of her affair with Silanus. He, therefore, executed both Silanus and Messalina.
9. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
The American film actor and producer, Thomas Cruise Mapother, better known as Tom Cruise, has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globe Awards. On April 27, 2005, Cruise and Holmes, known together as Tom Kat, appeared together for the first time in Rome. He declared his love for Holmes on The Oprah Winfrey Show. They were married in the famous and old Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy on November 18, 2006. Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise on June 29, 2012. On July 9, 2012 the couple signed the divorce settlement presented by their lawyers.
10. Katy Perry and Russel Brand
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known by her stage name as Katy Perry, is an American singer and actress. Perry, and the English comedian Russel Brand, started dating in September, 2009, and they got engaged in December, 2009 while vacationing in India. Perry and Brand married in a traditional Hindu ceremony at Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary, India, on October 23, 2010. On December 30, 2011, after 14 months of marriage, Brand filed for divorce on account of irreconcilable differences. The divorce became effective in July, 2012.
Romance is like a bunch of fragrant flowers whose fragrance cannot be contained through ordinary wrapping. Fragrances are highly volatile and need to be preserved in airtight containers. It is difficult to convince a child that there is no melon (known as ‘shamama’ in Arabic, literally meaning ‘fragrant’) somewhere in the immediate vicinity. How can the celebrities then conceal their romance from the tribes of paparazzi and host of press reporters? A few tragic events of historic importance have been caused by the overambitious photographers and press reporters, and perhaps it is too high a cost for learning to respect the privacy of others, particularly the celebrities who too want to have a few moments of expressing their affection.