Queen Elizabeth is many things to many people; a Queen, a historian, a peace-keeper, and a beloved and cherished public figure. Beloved by most of the world, the longest-reigning monarch seems practically flawless. Well, that is, to most everyone…
It appears that Queen Elizabeth hasn’t always been the crowd favorite. When the American leading lady, former first-lady Jackie Kennedy, met the Queen in 1961, the two budded heads. Although, you’d never be able to tell from the photographs… Now, nearly 60 years later, the truth is revealed.
When Jackie Kennedy and her husband, President John F. Kennedy joined Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, the world was giddy with anticipation; the two united nations’ leaders were finally coming together!
The world leaders stayed under the same roof while the media had a field day capturing historical moments of their meetup. From the outside, they appeared civil- even friendly. But as it turns out, Jackie Kennedy was less than keen on her stay in the Queen’s home.
Historian, Carolyn Harris, recalls Jackie making some harsh remarks towards not only Buckingham Palace, but also towards the Queen herself. Jackie, being a modern woman in America, was reported to be “unimpressed with the palace furnishings and the Queen’s comparatively old-fashioned wardrobe and hairstyle.” As many know, the British Royal Family values tradition and history over trends. This didn’t go over very well with Jackie though.
Jackie reportedly made comments about the Queen’s own appearance as well. Again, Jackie followed trends and fashion, so she was rather taken back to see the Queen dress so modestly and have such a simple appearance. It’s been reported that once the Queen realized that Jackie was judgmental of her looks, she began to only interact with her out of obligation, rather than genuine interest.
One historian, Robert Lacey, believes that while the Queen would never admit to the tension, it was visibly there. He believes that after Jackie’s visit, Her Majesty felt “upstaged” by the first lady.
Perhaps one of the more offensive claims was Jackie’s judgment call regarding Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip. The Washington Post reports that Jackie thought there was a “lack of chemistry between the Queen and her husband. She was quoted saying “Philip was nice, but nervous. One felt absolutely no relationship between them.” If the Queen wasn’t standoffish yet, that brash comment surely created some tension.
After the Kennedy’s 1961 visit, the Queen suggested a shocking second visit. Perhaps, she wanted to make amends or share some suggestive thoughts for the future.
One thing is for sure, after the second visit in 1962, Jackie was reported to say something much less suggestive regarding her visit with the Queen. Her response to the press after the second visit was simply. “I don’t think I should say anything about it except how grateful I am and how charming she was.” Did the Queen say anything that might have persuaded Jackie to be a little more private about her thoughts? We can only wonder…
While it’s all out in the future, we’re fairly certain that the Queen has long forgotten the passive aggressive and brash comments made by Jackie Kennedy.