There were some infamous love triangles in history. Here we look into some of those.
1. Cleopatra - Mark Antony - Octavia the Younger
Mark and Cleopatra first met when she had been the mistress of his mentor, Julius Caesar, with whom she had a son Caesarion. After Caesar’s death, they started their love affair, even though Anthony was married to Fulvia. This pissed his wife, but while he was on his way from Egypt to Rome to cajole her, Fulvia died. This made Octavian, who headed the Roman administration after Caesar’s death, angry. So to be on good terms with Octavian, Antony married his sister, Octavia. Back in Egypt, Cleopatra who was upset with Antony’s marriage to Octavia, gave birth to Antony’s twins. Antony regretting his marriage, returned to Cleopatra. Now Octavian, who wanted to defend his sister’s honor, followed him to Egypt with his army. The fear of getting captured and separated by Romans, drove both Antony and Cleopatra to commit suicide. Shakespeare wrote his famous play, Antony and Cleopatra, based on their affair.
2. Harry Kendall Thaw - Evelyn Nesbit - Stanford White
Evelyn Nesbit was a model and actress who was married to Harry Kendall Thaw, who was the son of railroad and coal baron William Thaw and the heir to a multi-million dollar fortune. Stanford White was her other suitor who was a legendary architect, who designed Washington Square Arch, Madison Square Garden among other things. Evelyn lost her virginity to Stanford when she was sixteen. Stanford had sex with a unconscious Evelyn, whom he had drugged. Harry came to know of this after he married Evelyn when she was 20. He could not get over this and thought that Stanford has ruined his wife and decided to avenge his wife’s rape. So Harry shot Stanford on the rooftop of New York City’s Madison Square Garden in front of hundreds of witnesses on June 25, 1906. The trial that followed this was murder was dubbed the “trial of the century”. Harry was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
3. Edward VIII - Wallis Simpson - Ernest Simpson
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom who fell in love with divorced American, Wallis Simpson, who was married to Ernest Simpson and was also secretly involved with a car salesman. Since Edward decided to marry Wallis, whose status as a divorcée caused a constitutional crisis, he had to abdicate the throne. Wallis divorced Ernest, and married Edward in a small ceremony in 1937. This marriage and abdication might have been favorable for England, because Edward was a Nazi sympathizer. Ernest was forgotten by the press after their marriage.
4. Eddie Fisher - Elizabeth Taylor - Richard Burton
Liz Taylor who was married to Eddie Fisher, met a married Richard Burton while filming Cleopatra in Italy in 1962. Her marriage to Eddie Fisher had already led to a public scandal because Eddie had to divorce American sweetheart Debbie Reynolds to marry Taylor. The press branded her a homewrecker for this. The married co-stars began a affair which resulted in a public uproar. The affair was so scandalous that the Vatican condemned them for it, and there were calls in the US Congress to bar them from re-entering the country. Taylor was granted a divorce from Fisher on March 5, 1964, and ten days later she married Burton in a private ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal.
5. Diana Spencer - Prince Charles - Camilla Parker Bowles
Charles who has been the heir apparent to the British throne since 1958, first met Camilla in 1971. But the relationship was abruptly ended by Royal family in 1973, because they thought Camilla was unsuitable as a wife for the future king. Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. After his uncle Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, a grief-stricken Charles relied heavily on Camilla for solace and rekindled their romance. Charles married Diana in 1981 because the Royal family thought she was a suitable royal bride. Their marriage was watched by an estimated global TV audience of 750 million people and was billed by the press as “wedding of the century”.
But Charles and Camilla were still romantically involved. Their affair became public knowledge in the press in 1992, with the publication of Diana: Her True Story. Charles and Diana separated in 1992. Charles confirmed his extramarital affair with Camilla in a televised interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. Diana spoke of Charles’s relationship with Camilla in the now famous interview with Journalist Martin Bashir. She said of her husband’s extra marital affair in the interview with the famous quote, “there were three of us in this marriage”. Camilla divorced in 1995. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in 1997. Charles and Camilla were married in 2005.
6. Jennifer Aniston - Brad Pitt - Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Aniston met in 1998. They married in a lavish Malibu wedding in 2000. In January 2005, Pitt and Aniston announced they had decided to separate. Brad and Angelina who were working on Mr. & Mrs. Smith, their affair was publicized after the divorce announcement. Media speculated that Brad’s unfaithfulness led to the divorce. On October 2005, Pitt and Aniston, finalized their divorce. Angelina confirmed her relationship with Brad when she was pregnant with his child. The couple were dubbed “Brangelina” by the press. They married on August 23, 2014, at their estate in France. The couple separated in 2016, and divorced in 2019 citing irreconcilable differences.