The Truth About Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Jackie Kennedy

Queen Elizabeth II and Jackie Kennedy were two women that stood out over most others in their respective countries. The former is the currently rules over the English and British throne. The longevity of her reign has provided a source of stability for the crown, which had not been afforded to the monarchy on account of her uncle's abdication and father's death occurring within 16 years. Jackie Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, distinguished herself in the media through her personal style and extensive redesign of the White House to match her preferences, which included a schoolhouse (via JFK Library).

As two of the most well-known women in the world at the height of the Cold War, it would seem sensible that they would become close on account of their positions. Unfortunately, this was not so much the case, Per Jackie Kennedy's recollection, their early in-person meetings were often infused with tension, evidently caused by differences in their characters (via CheatSheet).

Kennedy's modern sensibilities versus the crown's conservatism

Jackie Kennedy, as someone with an admittedly modern aesthetic taste in fashion and architecture, did not refrain from criticizing all that she found to be antiquated within Buckingham Palace. While not as public or obtuse as depicted in shows like "The Crown," Queen Elizabeth was likely not fond of the comments that were made (via Vanity Fair). Additionally, Kennedy wished to invite her sister and brother-in-law to a private dinner in 1961. The core issue was that both were divorced, the former twice and the latter three times. Evidently, the monarch's Anglican-imposed opposition to divorce or anyone associated with it (her uncle Edward VII was forced to abdicate over his attempted marriage to a divorcee) led her to oppose the invitation.

This led to friction between them before the queen relented and allowed their attendance, though the first lady's other guest requests were not approved after this (via British Heritage). In hindsight, Kennedy expressed her private fear that the queen resented her for the whole affair (via Express). Their relationship was not entirely one of rivalry, though, as the two did find time to have more private discussions free of such petty distractions. When President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Elizabeth went through great lengths to honor him, inviting Jackie Kennedy and her two children to the opening of a memorial in Britain.