7 Gestures of Love From History That Were, ‘Woah There, That’s A Little Much’

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7 Gestures of Love From History That Were, ‘Woah There, That’s A Little Much’

There are usually two reasons for someone to make a grand romantic gesture: 1) Theyre deeply in love; or 2) theyre in deep shit. Whatever the reason, they usually come with a high price tag, a crazy amount of work, or both. Which means that you better be damn sure that the person on the other end is going to like it. Someone doesnt like a watch, no problem, just return it. Someone doesnt like a massive tract of land? Things get a little more complicated.

Here are seven romantic gestures from history that were a little much…

Richard Burton s 69-Carat Diamond

If the romantic relationship youre in is of the “whirlwind” (read: nightmarish) variety, one thing thats almost guaranteed to suffer is your personal finances. Just keeping track of bank accounts becoming jointed and unjointed is enough financial stress, but actor Richard Burton decided to throw a brazil-nut sized disaster into the mix when he purchased sometimes-wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat diamond for $1.5 million. They would later get divorced — twice. The diamond landed on her side, and she eventually auctioned it off for charity, which is a good way to make it impossible for Burton to complain.

Grigory Orlov s 189-Carat Diamond

Elkan Wijnberg

“Scepters looking great! So about that movie?”

Ill-advised though that purchase might have been, at least Burton and Taylor were, in fact, in a relationship at the time. In perhaps one of the biggest down-bad moments in history, Count Grigory Orlov, who was obsessed with his former lover and current empress Catherine the Great, decided to go for broke. He bought her an 189-carat diamond, which she gladly — and completely platonically — accepted. She mounted it in the imperial scepter, and to this day, the diamond is still known as the “Orlov Diamond,” which is not as flattering as it could be.

Edward VIII Abdicating the Throne

In the 1930s, prince-turned-king Edward VIII had fallen madly in love with an American woman named Wallis Simpson. Unfortunately, that woman wasnt only married for a portion of their affair, but even after ending her current marriage, now was twice-divorced. This isnt the desired resume for a queen, and Edward was informed as such. For him, the choice was easy: He abdicated the throne in order to marry Simpson. She must have been excited that they could get married, but at least a little bummed that she wouldn't become a literal queen in the process.

The Taj Mahal


You think he misses her?

Let me be clear here: The Taj Mahal, built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan, is an incredible human achievement and well deserves discussion as one of the great wonders of the world. Still, I can't help but think that Mumtaz final wish wasnt for her husband to spend the next 22 years in a deep depression building a memorial to her, one that would consume him so completely that it would enable his son Aurangzeb to usurp his throne.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

On one hand, if descriptions are to be believed, the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon were so unbelievable as to put the Taj Mahal to shame. On the other hand, at least we are definitely sure the Taj Mahal actually existed. The legend goes that Nebuchadnezzar IIs queen Amytis was bummed by how un-lush Babylon was compared to her homeland. To ease her botanical heartache, he basically constructed an entire human-made ecosystem, featuring a massive variety of wildlife growing from all sides of a specially made ziggurat. Theres only two problems: 1) No one's been able to find direct evidence of these gardens; and 2) if they did exist, watering them must have been an absolute nightmare.

Buying Someone Stonehenge

Stefan Kuhn

“Okay honey, open your eyes!”

The man who takes the crown for most severely misguided action on this list is Cecil Chubb. The entire story is incredible, like it was pulled from some sort of sitcom about the dizzyingly rich. In 1915, Chubb, on instruction from his wife, attended an auction with a stated goal: dining chairs. The chairs were forgotten when a different lot hit the block: Stonehenge. As in, the whole place, rocks included. Sixty-six hundred pounds later, Chubb now owned Stonehenge. How did Mary Chubb feel about his impulse landmark purchase, that would come out to roughly 850,000 pounds today? Not a fan! Especially since he used some of her family money to buy it.

A Bejeweled Toilet Seat

If you think that the days of these sort of poetic, beautiful gestures are long dead, and that our modern society would be incapable of such touching devotion, well, this isnt going to do anything to dispel that. Its also disputed by the recipient herself, but if it is real, Im not sure Id want to talk about it either. This is the gift Ben Affleck reportedly gave Jennifer Lopez, owner of a real top-notch toboggan by all reports, a bejeweled toilet seat worth roughly $100,000

Any possibility of this being funny is destroyed by the price tag, and any possibility of it being sweet is destroyed by the overwhelming horniness of it all.

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