Stupidly Expensive Romantic Gestures By Famous People

The Taylor-Burton diamond

Richard Burton at first failed to purchase this infamous diamond for his then-wife, Elizabeth Taylor. When Burton heard he had been out-bid, he flew into a rage and insisted he’d paid any price for it.

The renowned actor eventually secured the 68 carat gem for $1.1 million and had it made into a necklace for his wife.

Beyoncé bought Jay-Z a $40 million private jet

For Father’s Day 2012 just after the birth of their first child, Blue Ivy, Beyonce bought her husband Jay-Z a $40 million private jet.

This Bombardier Challenger 850 was fitted with a kitchen, a king-sized bed, a drinks bar, a vanity and two bathrooms, and had a cruising speed of 528mph.

Jay-Z bought Beyoncé an island

Beyonce’s private jet gift to Jay-Z was just the latest of a long list of lavish presents that the famous couple have exchanged over the years.

In 2010, Jay-Z spent $20 million on a private island in the Florida Keys, for Beyonce’s 29th birthday. The site measures 12.5 acres and is one of several islands that the pair have splashed out on.

Gunter Sachs sent Brigitte Bardot roses by helicopter

German millionaire Gunter Sachs once wooed the actress Brigitte Bardot in spectacular fashion in 1966. He sent a helicopter to drop hundreds of roses all over her estate in Saint-Tropez.

Bardot confirmed this story in her autobiography, writing: “It’s not every day a man drops a ton of roses in your backyard.”

Johnny Depp bought Vanessa Paradis a French vineyard

Johnny Depp has two children with his former partner Vanessa Paradis. At one point during this 14-year relationship, Depp bought Paradis a multi-million dollar vineyard in France, the country where Paradis was born and raised.

Amid Depp’s legal battle with another ex-partner, Amber Heard, Paradis described him as a “sensitive, loving and loved person.”

Joe DiMaggio sent roses to Marilyn Monroe’s grave three times a week

The baseball legend Joe DiMaggio was married to Marilyn Monroe for nine months in 1954. Their relationship was reportedly turbulent and violent, but DiMaggio never stopped loving the Hollywood icon.

After Monroe died in 1962, DiMaggio arranged a delivery of six red roses to her crypt three times every week. He did this for 20 years.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

According to ancient legends, King Nebuchadnezzar II ordered the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon around the sixth century B.C.

The project was a present for his wife, Amytis of Media, who was homesick for the lush forests of her home in present-day Kurdistan. The exotic gardens were designed to make her feel more at home in the desert.

Brad Pitt bought Jennifer Aniston a yacht

Long before he fell for Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Brad Pitt was in a high-profile relationship with Friends star Jennifer Aniston.

On one occasion, Pitt bought her a spectacular yacht worth $5.7 million. The pair first met in 1998, wedded in 2000 and separated in January 2005.

Drake booked out an aquarium for Rihanna

In 2016, Drake set a new extravagant standard for date nights by booking out the whole of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, just to impress Rihanna on a date.

This on-again, off-again relationship lasted from 2009 till 2016, and he has said of the pop star: “She’s a woman I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.”

Michael B. Jordan rented another aquarium to impress Lori Harvey

Perhaps taking a leaf from Drake’s book, the actor Michael B. Jordan also booked out a whole aquarium for one romantic evening with girlfriend Lori Harvey.

On his first Valentine’s Day with the model and businesswoman, Jordan paid to take over the Atlanta Aquarium, and filled it out with flowers and candles.

Pete Davidson rented out a floor of the Carlyle Hotel for Kim Kardashian

Amid a wild feud with Kim Kardashian’s former partner Kanye West, comedian Pete Davidson decided to treat his new girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.

He rented out the entire top floor of the luxurious Carlyle Hotel and filled it with gifts and flowers for Kim. Meanwhile Kanye reportedly tried to woo back his ex with a truck full of roses.

Kanye bought 40 runway pieces for his date Julia Fox

On his second-ever date with the actress Julia Fox, Kanye West flew her to New York City to see a Broadway play, and then bought her over 40 pieces from the Diesel fashion show.

Once they had the new items to try on, West than had his new girlfriend pose alongside him for an on-the-spot photography shoot. However, the pair broke things off within two months.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson booked a whole restaurant for one date

Seeking privacy for a dinner date with Lauren Hashian, the actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson once rented out a whole restaurant in Hawaii in 2019.

He described the date as “wildly surreal”, noting that the pair could finally “sit in the middle of a restaurant undisturbed, eat, have drinks, watch TVs above the bar and just relax and enjoy [each other’s] company.”

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills rented a castle for their wedding

In 1999, Beatles star Paul McCartney met Heather Mills, a model and businesswoman. The pair would get married three years later at Castle Leslie, a remote and luxurious castle in the Irish countryside.

They invited 300 people to witness the ceremony, with reports that Bill Clinton himself received an invitation. The ceremony was followed by a ride in a luxury yacht.

The Taj Mahal was a gesture from emperor Shah Jahan

The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan constructed the world-famous Taj Mahal as a tomb for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took decades to complete, with around 20,000 artisans hired to work on the project.

In today’s money, the total he spent on building the Taj Mahal would come to around $420 million.

The Beckhams took a private tour of the Palace of Versailles for a date

For their 20th wedding anniversary, superstars David and Victoria Beckham treated themselves to a private tour of France’s famous Versailles Palace.

After viewing the majestic site, they drank champagne and then went into Paris for dinner at the eye-wateringly expensive restaurant Guy Savoy.

Carole Lombard customised a car for Clark Gable

A second-hand car might sound less glamorous than most gifts on this list. But when Carole Lombard bought a used Model T Ford for Clark Gable in 1936, it was a huge deal.

She had it custom-painted with love hearts and added a note that read: “You’re driving me crazy.” What made this even more grandiose a gesture was the fact that this was only their first date.

Ben Affleck put a love letter to Jennifer Lopez in a newspaper

It’s not uncommon for Hollywood industry members to buy adverts in newspapers to give their congratulations to award-winning actors. However, when Jennifer Lopez won ShoWest’s Female Star of the Year, her co-star Ben Affleck romanced her with a letter in the Hollywood Reporter.

This open letter read, “It has been nothing but an honor and a pleasure to work with you. I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies.”

Edward VIII left the throne for Wallis Simpson

In one of the most costly gestures on this list, King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne so that he could marry his girlfriend, American socialite Wallis Simpson.

Simpson, who was married at the time, then divorced her husband and married Edward within a year. They remained together until his death in 1972.

Kanye’s stadium proposal

For his proposal to Kim Kardashian in 2013, Kanye rented out the AT&T Park and held an orchestral performance. Kanye himself has admitted that this proposal was meant to be dramatic rather than romantic, however.

“If I wanted to be romantic, I would have gone to a small restaurant or something,” he has said. Infamously, their romance didn't last too long, Kardashian filing for divorce from West in 2022 after eight years of marriage.

Offset bought Cardi B a $200,000 truck

For rapper Cardi B’s 26th birthday, her then-boyfriend Offset pretended he was having a medical emergency in order to trick Cardi into visiting Atlanta.

There, he surprised her with a $200,000 Lamborghini truck. Funnily enough, although she loved the gift, Cardi B has never got her driving licence.

Khloe Kardashian bought Lamar a $400,000 Rolls Royce

When Khloe Kardashian was married to basketball star Lamar Odom, she gave him a $400,000 vehicle as a token of her love.

"It’s a brand new 2010 Rolls Royce… drop-top coupe, white on white,” her mother, Kris Jenner, told the press. “It was a Lakers championship present. Fabulous!”

Nick Cannon proposed to Mariah Carey with a huge diamond in a Ring Pop wrapper

Nick Cannon once made a rooftop proposal to Mariah Carey with a giant diamond ring hidden inside a Ring Pop package.

Carey has since said it felt like a fairytale, noting: “They’ve been calling me Cinderella since I first started out. Most people would think, Okay, please! This doesn’t happen in real life.”

Courteney Cox bought David Arquette a carousel horse

In one of the weirder entries on this list, Friends star Courteney Cox once bought an antique carousel horse for her husband David Arquette.

This precious object’s value has been estimated at sums as high as $45,000. The pair met on the set of the first ever Scream movie, and were married from 1999 till 2013.

Angelina bought Brad Pitt a 200-year-old tree

Before Angelina Jolie married Brad Pitt in 2014, she impressed him on Valentine’s Day with an unusual gift: a 200-year-old olive tree.

Costing around $18,500, this tree species is laden with symbolism and the couple planted it at their $60 million getaway in the south of France.

Prince Harry took a 3,000 km detour for Meghan Markle

In 2016, Prince Harry came under fire from the British press for taking a 3,000 km detour from his official Caribbean tour. He used this trip to visit his girlfriend Meghan Markle in Canada.

Not everyone was impressed by this gesture given it came at the taxpayers’ expense. However, such romantic gestures paid off and the pair wedded in 2018.

Jerry O’Connell bought grapevines for Rebecca Romijn

In what Rebecca Romijn described as “the most romantic gift” she’d ever received, she was once given $52,000 worth of grapevines by her then-boyfriend Jerry O’Connell.

Now married, the couple planted the grapevines across their Calabasas estate and started producing wine from their crop.

Seal’s igloo proposal

In 2004, the singer Seal proposed to his girlfriend Heidi Klum in spectacular fashion deep in the Canadian Rockies. “[Seal] took me by helicopter,” the model recounted.

“He had an igloo built there, and they’d brought up everything: a bed with sheets inside the igloo, rose petals everywhere, candles. Very, very romantic!”

Justin Bieber booked the Staples Center for Selena Gomez

In 2011, Justin Bieber treated his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez to a date in the Staples Center – which he booked out in its entirety, just to watch Titanic.

Usually such an event would cost a fortune, but Bieber was reportedly given this experience for free after completing three sell-out shows at the venue.

Justin Bieber gave Hailey Baldwin a $500,000 ring

Justin Bieber and model Hailey Baldwin first dated in 2015, but ultimately broke up. They got back together in 2018, and within a month, he gave her a spectacular diamond engagement ring.

This piece of jewelry, which Bieber himself had a hand in designing, cost around $500,000. The pair got married just four months later.

Elton John bought a $80,000 watch for David Furnish

In 2018, Elton John paid a visit to the Italian jewellery store Gioielleria Cusi to buy a watch for his husband David Furnish for $80,000.

The watch in question was a Rolex GMT-Master II, and featured two different time zone settings. He bought this gift shortly before going on his final global tour, entitled Farewell Yellow Brick Road.

Howard Stern gave Beth Ostrosky a massive diamond ring

Howard Stern is known as a radio shock jockey with a rude sense of humor, but he has shown an unexpectedly romantic side with his wife Beth Ostrosky, an actress.

He proposed to her on Valentines Day 2007 with a 5.2 carat diamond ring, which had an estimated value of approximately $250,000.

John Legend’s private jet date for Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend first met in 2006, and got married in 2013. On one particular Valentines Day date in 2015, Legend took Teigen on a private jet date to an undisclosed location.

Teigen described this occasion as a “magical mystery date” that made her feel like the “luckiest girl alive”.

Alexis Ohanian set up congratulatory billboards for Serena Williams

Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, went above and beyond to surprise his wife Serena Williams when she returned to tennis after giving birth to their first daughter.

He rented four billboards that appeared on her route to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. The billboards featured photos of their daughter and the words “Greatest Momma Of All Time”.

Taylor Swift bought a mansion to be closer to Conor Kennedy

In 2012, Taylor Swift bought a 13-bedroom, $4.9 million mansion by the beach at Cape Cod. The 22-year-old singer reportedly made this choice so that she could be closer to her then-boyfriend, 18-year-old Conor Kennedy.

Kennedy is the son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., meaning that Conor is the great-nephew of President John F. Kennedy.

The Royal Albert Hall was built for Prince Albert

London’s Royal Albert Hall was completed by Queen Victoria to fulfil the cultural vision of her beloved husband Albert, who died in 1861 before his so-called Albertopolis complex was ever built.

Victoria was famed for her long mourning process over her deceased husband, and wore funereal black until her own death four decades later.

Russell Wilson booked out an entire art museum for Ciara

Quarterback Russell Wilson has been married to Ciara Wilson since 2016. The following year, he took her out for a date at the Seattle Art Museum.

However, for the sake of privacy, Wilson booked out the entire venue. “Mama’s looking good, looking at art on a date night,” Russell said in a video shot for the occasion.

Travis Scott covered Kylie Jenner’s home in rose petals

Rapper Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner have been in an on-again, off-again relationship for the past four years and have two children together.

In 2019, he surprised the reality TV star by placing thousands of rose petals all over her house. “This man covered my house in roses omg!” Jenner wrote in an Instagram post.

Sir Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge

In a romantic gesture that made him famous, the wealthy barrister Cecil Chubb purchased Stonehenge in 1915 as an anniversary present for his wife.

His wife was reportedly unimpressed with the gift of a prehistoric monument, and so Chubb gave it away to the nation just three years later.

Richard Wagner hired orchestras for Cosima’s birthdays

After he wedded Cosima in 1870, the composer Richard Wagner wanted to give her a birthday surprise. Cosima was born on 24th December but always celebrated her birthday on the 25th instead.

On the assigned day, Wagner hired an orchestra to play his new composition, the Siegfried Idyll, on the stairs outside her bedroom. He repeated this stunt in 1878 with his new prelude to Parsifal.