With Valentine’s Day done and dusted for another year, one can’t help but feel a little bereft of another consumer dominated day dedicated to love and peace to look forward to. We’ve done Christmas. We’ve done Valentine’s. And there is a lengthy gap to fill between now and Easter. So what can we do? We can drag out Valentine’s a little longer is what. It has often been said that romances that begin in the office are the most long lasting and are most likely to lead to married bliss in the future. So, I thought, in memory of our dearly departed Valentine’s Day 2016, it might be fun to consider five of the most famous office romances and weigh the above fact for its reliability. So here goes:
Antony and Cleopatra
The ultimate office romance. He was the leader of Rome, she was a temptress, the richest woman in the world and the ruler of Egypt. He was in a fix and desperate for cash to subdue his rebellious empire, she was looking for a relationship that would extend her power. It was a match seemingly made in 20th Century Fox heaven, but it wasn’t to be. Their relationship unraveled when Anthony was defeated by his arch nemesis Octavian at the battle of Actium. He fell on his sword and she committed suicide by poisonous snake bite.
Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky
He never had sexual relations with that woman. But of course he did, many, many times over in the oval office. And the lie got him impeached, but later acquitted by the United States Senate. The relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky was doomed, while his relationship with Hillary Clinton, to the surprise of many survived. Ironically Bill and Hillary did not meet at work, but at university, in the Yale Law Library in 1971.
Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack and Michelle first met in the summer of 1989 at a Chicago law firm. Then known as Michelle Robinson, the future first lady was given the task of mentoring Barack who was the firm’s new intern. Although Barack has said that it was love at first sight for him, Michelle originally rebuffed his advances, saying it would be far too corny for the only two African Americans in the office to start dating.
Bill and Melinda Gates
The future founder of Microsoft met his wife, a fellow Microsoft employee, in 1987 at a New York press event. Although Melinda was originally against the idea as she thought, quite naturally, that dating her CEO was probably a bad idea, the two had an emotional connection that eventually won the day. Today the two run one of the most important charitable organisations in the world, the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation.
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
Perhaps one of the most famous married couples in the history of the institution, Burton and Taylor were ironically playing Anthony and Cleopatra when they started their affair. The couple would go on to marry twice and star in eleven films together. The union that was dubbed by the press as the ‘marriage of the century’ was in effect, to begin with, just an office romance.