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Forget Jack and Rose, here are the real life Titanic love stories

Published 11/02/2016

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are shown in a scene from Titanic
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are shown in a scene from Titanic
Titanic hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912.

The Titanic story has captured hearts and minds worldwide, arguably none more so than the love story between Jack and Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic movie.

Despite being based on fictional characters, the 1997 classic is still listed as one of the best love stories of all time.

As its Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Titanic Belfast has dug out a few of the best real life love stories from the ship.

The real heart necklace

Rose's 'Heart of the Ocean' necklace may have been the inspired by a real life couple who were hoping to start a new life together in America.

Kate Florence Philips (aged 19) eloped with the owner of the shop she worked for. He was 20 years her senior with a wife and child.

Her partner, Henry, gave her a sapphire diamond necklace set in platinum, called the ‘Love of the Sea’, which she wore proudly on board Titanic.

Henry did not survive the tragedy, however, Kate got onboard a lifeboat and brought the necklace with her. She gave birth to Henry’s daughter a few months later.

Macy's owners Ida and Isidor

One of the most popular love stories was that of the owners of Macy’s Department Store, New York, Mr Isidor Straus, and his wife, Ida, who travelled back from winter in Europe onboard Titanic.

Once it was clear Titanic was sinking, Ida refused to leave Isidor and would not get into a lifeboat without him, apparently stating: "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together.”

Although Isidor was offered a seat in a lifeboat to accompany Ida, he refused seating while there were still women and children aboard. Ida also reportedly gave her maid, Ellen, her fur coat as she would no longer need it, and insisted that she got on a lifeboat.

A memorial plaque for them can be seen today at the 34th Street Memorial Entrance of Macy's Herald Square.

Honeymoon couples

There were 13 known honeymooning couples on board Titanic’s maiden voyage, including J.J Astor, owner of Waldorf Astoria Hotel (aged 47), and his nineteen year old wife.

According to the New York Times, Astor “put up and owned more hotels and skyscrapers than any other New Yorker”.

He was estimated to be worth as much as $200 million and was the richest man on Titanic as well as Nelle Stevenson & John Pillsbury Snyder, a relative of the Pillsbury Company’s founder.

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