(1) RAMSES II AND NEFERTARI:
Queen Nefertari, whose name means “beautiful companion”, was one of Ramses II’s eight royal wives and his most beloved one. Although Nefertari’s family background is unknown, the discovery of an inscription of the cartouche of the pharaoh Ay inside her tomb has led archaeologists to speculate that she was related to him. If any relation exists, she could be his great-granddaughter because of the time between the reign of Ay and Ramses II in Ancient Egyptian history. Until now no decisive archaeological evidence has been found to link Nefertari to the royal family of the 18th Dynasty. Nefertari married Ramses II before he ascended the throne, and she bore him at least four sons and two daughters.
Ramses II’s love for his wife is registered on the walls of the queen’s burial chamber. He wrote a poem to his wife saying: “my love is unique – no one can rival her, for she is the most beautiful woman alive. Just by passing, she has stolen away my heart.”
Although the location of the mausoleum of the lovers is not known, the love between the Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra VI and Mark Antony is one of the most fascinating and touching of all. It was for this reason that William Shakespeare dramatised this love story in his play Antony and Cleopatra. The story took place in 31 BCE, when Cleopatra and Antony fell in love at first sight. Antony then left his wife Octavia in Rome and married Cleopatra. Their love outraged the Romans, who were worried about the growing power of the Egyptians. Octavian, later the emperor Augustus, then invaded Egypt to defeat the lovers and subjugate the country.
The love story of Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah Aga Khan, the 48th Imam of the Ismailis, a Shiite sect, and his wife the Begum Um Habiba, started at the end of the 1930s. Coincidence played a role in the marriage of the Aga Khan and his French wife, born Yvette Blanche Labrousse, who later became the Begum Um Habiba. They fell in love at first sight when they met at a royal dancing party in Egypt in 1938.