This was the year of Brexit – but the UK’s divorce has well and truly had its thunder stolen by another break-up… Braxit.
Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, citing “irreconcilable differences” in a celebrity split that seems to have left the world reeling. Yes, after 12 years together Hollywood’s golden couple are going their separate ways, and the actress has asked for sole custody of the pair’s six children.
The twosome have remained rather quiet on the subject, with Jolie merely revealing through her representative that she initiated a legal separation for “the health of her family”. Pitt released an equally brief statement, saying he was “very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids”.
It’s been fewer than 24 hours since the news broke, and already mud is being slung on both sides in the media, with accusations of cheating and shoddy parenting running rife.
But rather than speculate as to the reasons behind the breaking-up of one of Hollywood’s most longstanding relationships, we want to look back, a little teary eyed, at some of the A-listers’ happier moments.
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So with no further ado, here’s 10 times Brangelina gave the world #couplegoals.
1. A pit stop in Ras Al Khaimah
The power couple made the UAE their home for a brief time last year, as Pitt was filming Netflix war satire War Machine – based on a best-selling book by Michael Hastings – in RAK and Abu Dhabi. Following a jam-packed promotional tour (pictured above) for their film By The Sea, the pair jetted into the Emirates with their children and reportedly rented a villa in the mountainous yet beachy oasis of Ras Al Khaimah. While details of what exactly they got up to are scant, we’re sure they enjoyed some well-deserved R&R in one of the world’s most beautiful holiday spots (we’re not biased at all…).
2. Shiloh makes her debut
Plenty of celebrities sell the first pictures of their newborns, but few do it for such good-hearted reasons as the Jolie-Pitts. After welcoming daughter Shiloh in 2006, the couple scored a US$8 million deal with People magazine for a cover story – and they donated the entire amount to charity. Plus the way Angie’s looking at Brad look at their baby? Adorable.
3… and then the twins made theirs
The couple also sold the first images of their twins, Vivienne and Knox, who were born in 2008. The actors this time landed a US$14 million joint deal with People and Hello! magazines, and again gave the entire amount to charity. The couple also gave a peek into their happy homelife with some beautiful shots of their children Maddox, Shiloh, Zahara and Pax interacting with the newborns.
4. When on-screen love became real-life
The couple famously met when they starred opposite one another in 2005’s action flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith. OK, so the start of their relationship was marred with controversy (did he actually cheat on Jennifer Aniston or did they separate first? The jury’s still out), but you have to appreciate how rare it is to see a couple fall in love in real-life, and all captured on film. Their chemistry was most certainly palpable, and we’ll watch this movie with a very heavy heart from now on.
5. Completing their brood
These photographs of Brad and Angelina – pictured at a premiere when she was heavily pregnant with Vivienne and Knox – are perhaps our favourite images of the pair. The actress has that mum-to-be glowing skin, she looks content and fulfilled with that benevolent smile, and Brad spent the entire trek up the red carpet gently and proudly cradling his partner.
6. Angie’s tribute to Brad
Jolie bravely underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 after discovering – like her late mother – she carried the “faulty” BRCA1 gene, which dramatically increases the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The actress revealed her surgery in a moving piece for The New York Times, a particular highlight of which was a shout-out to her supportive partner. It’s the following passage which really pulled at the heartstrings Notebook-style:
“I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive,” she wrote. “So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.”
7. This candid moment
The couple were snapped here at 2008’s Critics’ Choice Awards, where they spent most of the night whispering into each others’ ears, tenderly hugging, and keeping themselves in fits of laughter. Just look at these pictures – what you’re seeing is So. Much. Love.
8. That ring
After pressure from their kids to tie the knot, Brad proposed to his long-term love in 2012 with an epic US$250,000 engagement ring. But it’s not the jewellery’s size or stunning simplicity which won us over – it was that Pitt spent an entire year collaborating with its designer to come up with the perfect piece for Angelina. Such dedication.
9. When they finally said ‘I do’
The couple made it official in 2014, exchanging vows in a family-focused ceremony in their French estate. In details that now break our hearts a little bit, Maddox, now 15, and Pax, now 12, walked Angie down the aisle, Zahara, now 11, and Vivienne, now 8, acted as flower girls, and Shiloh, now 10, and Knox, now 8, were the ring bearers. Even Jolie’s dress was a tribute to her family, embroidered with recreations of her children’s drawings.
10. A family affair
When Angelina walked the red carpet at the 2014 premiere of Maleficent, she took along her best friends and biggest supporters – Brad and their six children. She also took daughters Zahara and Shiloh to last year’s Kids Choice Awards – check out the clip above to see their insanely cute reaction when she won Best Villain. Anyone else feeling like they’ve been chopping onions right about now?
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