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Royal Trysts

Apr 14,2011

In honor of Kate and Prince William’s wedding, which takes place Friday, April 29, 2011, we wanted to take a look at all the famous royal trysts that have taken place over the course of history. Here’s to a long and happy marriage you two!

Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon Bonaparte was just a soldier in the French military when he met Josephine, a beautiful and widowed mother of two. The short and homely man had his work cut out for him, but he eventually got his way and they were married in 1796. After the wedding, he left on a series of military campaigns, while Josephine embarked on her own series of adulterous affairs. They stayed together, until he became emperor and wanted a son to carry on his royal lineage. They divorced in 1809 and he married 18-year-old Marie Louise of Austria, who gave him a son.

Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson

Edward, the handsome Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, changed the course of his life, as well as that of British history, when he fell in love with Wallis Warfield Simpson,  a woman who was not only American, but also married.

The two met at a party in 1931 and started their affair, but she did not become separated from her husband until 1934. When Edward became king, his relationship with Simpson made parliament more than a little nervous. He decided to abdicate the throne when he “found it impossible to carry the heavy burden” of being king without the support of “the woman he loved.”

His younger brother, Albert, became King George VI, and Edward was made the Duke of Windsor. King George made sure that his brother kept the courtesy title of His Royal Highness, but he also pointedly decreed that should he marry Wallis, she (and any children they produced) would be denied royal status. After Simpson’s divorce in 1937, Edward and Wallis were married in a small ceremony and spent most of the rest of their lives in France.

Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII

Anne captured the attention of King Henry VIII when she entered the service of Queen Katharine of Aragon. At the time, her sister Mary was already his mistress, but Mary was soon kicked out of bed to make way for Anne. Once embedded in this passionate tryst, Anne demanded that the king marry her and she waited nearly seven years for Henry to obtain an annulment. They wed in 1533 but she was unable to give Henry the son he desperately wanted. Anne was executed on false charges of witchcraft, incest and adultery in 1536. On the bright side, her daughter, Elizabeth, would become England’s greatest queen.

Charles and Camilla

The most famous of recent royal trysts has to be the one between William’s father Charles and Camilla Parker. Prince Charles was immediately captivated by the earthy, sexy, outspoken young woman who shared his love of dogs, horses and the countryside. She spoke her mind, which must have been refreshing to a man used to servants and hangers-on. They started a relationship which lasted until the following year, 1971, when Charles joined the Royal Navy. When he left, Camilla married Andrew Parker Bowles, a handsome cavalry officer. Charles, in turn, married Lady Diana Spencer, but the two continued to see each other romantically. In 1989, transcripts of private, pillow-talk conversations were leaked to the tabloids, ultimately inspiring “Camillagate” headlines, and Charles and Diana announced their separation in 1992. In 2005, (more than three decades after their initial encounter) Charles and Camilla married.

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  • Great Trysts in History

    Aug 4,2010

    Trysting isn’t a modern phenomenon. People have been doing it for centuries. We’ve compiled a list of famous historical trysts – some recent, some ancient – that have stood the test of time and have become inspiration to us all.

    Mark Antony and Cleopatra: The queen of Egypt, Cleopatra was the mistress of Julius Caesar, king of Rome, until his assassination in 44 B.C.E. After his untimely death, she hooked her chariot to Antony, who was married to Gaius Octavian’s (Caesar’s grandnephew) sister. Octiavian declared war on the two lovers, and while in battle, Antony received a false report that Cleopatra had committed suicide. Overcome with grief, he stabbed himself in the abdomen with a sword into and died.  When she was taken prisoner, Cleopatra smuggled a poisonous snake into her cell, and it delivered a fatal strike to her breast. She was buried next to Antony, so they could lie together for an eternity.

    Henry Miller and Anais Nin: The two writers met in Paris in the 1930, while both were married to different people. The tryst lasted years and became the subject of Nin’s famous journals, as well as a movie, Henry and June. Her diaries, which filled a multitude of volumes, document social engagements, their love affair and a love affair with Miller’s wife, June. The passionate love affair turned into a friendship as they grew older, and both remarried (Nin was actually married to two men at the same time!).

    Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles: Things started off innocently enough for the two young lovers, who started dating in 1970. Camilla reportedly made the first move by saying “My great-grandmother was your great-great-grandfather’s mistress, so how about it?” The pair broke up and married others, but the flame was still strong between the pair. Their affair was finally discovered after phone conversations went public (you know, the famous “tampon” comment), and they kept their relationship under wraps until around 1999. They finally tied the knot in 2005, ending a tryst fit for a king.

    Henry VII and Anne Boleyn: The randy king of England had a wandering eye – not so uncommon within the monarchy, but it is when you want to divorce the queen to marry your mistress. Distraught that his own wife, Queen Catherine, couldn’t produce a male heir, Henry became fixated on getting a divorce and marrying a much-younger, child-bearing woman. Henry finally got an annulment from his first marriage and married Anne – however, when she failed to produce a son for him, he had her executed for adultery and incest. He went on to marry four more times, and in the end, his only son died young.

    Napoleon and Josephine: Napoleon Bonaparte was captivated the moment he saw Josephine, a charming and beautiful Paris socialite – but wasn’t immediately successful. He was short, unkempt and rather homely looking – not really her type. Josephine eventually had a change of heart, and the two were married in 1796. Shortly after their wedding, Napoleon embarked on a series of military campaigns, while Josephine embarked on her own series of adulterous affairs. Later, he became focused on having a son to carry on his royal lineage. But he eventually came to the conclusion that Josephine was unable to conceive, and the couple divorced in 1809.

    In Tryst We Trust

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