The Queen & Jackie Kennedy

For this two-part series, I thought it would be fun to look at Jackie Kennedy’s relationships with both Grace Kelly and the Queen. I’ve unearthed a few interesting  tidbits that you may not have heard before, and I’d love to hear any others you may have up your sleeves! We’ll start with Jackie and Queen Elizabeth, and the next post will be all about Grace.

Back in 1951, Jackie Bouvier was hired by the Washington Times-Herald as the “Inquiring Camera Girl” for $42.50 per week. Amongst her many assignments was to cover Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration and to travel to London to cover the Queen’s Coronation, which was held on June 2 of 1953. Jackie’s articles covered her voyage to London, what the mood was like in the city, and of course the big event itself. If I’m able to unearth any of those actual articles, I’ll be sure to post them!

Her stance says "Let's do this!" (via carlaanthonyonline.com
Her stance says “Let’s do this!” (via carlaanthonyonline.com)

We know that Jack Kennedy proposed right when Jackie got back to the States, and she resigned from her newspaper job the next day. The Washington Times Herald announced the engagement on June 24, 1953 and the wedding was held on September 12. Very speedy!

So now let’s skip ahead to June 4, 1961 – exactly eight years and two days after the Queen’s coronation. That evening, Jackie and Jack dined with The Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham palace and as far as I can tell in this picture, both ladies seemed pretty delighted and like they were having a wonderful time.

So happy! (via Tumbler)
So happy! (via Pinterest)

(Side Note: The blue shantung dress Jackie wore is now held at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and can be viewed here.)

However, apparently there was quite a bit of haggling that went into the guest list and consequently the evening was pretty frosty. The story goes that Queen was reticent to invite Jackie’s sister Princess Lee Radziwill since she was a divorcee (shocking, I know) but eventually relented. However, the Queen then vetoed Princess Margaret and Princess Marina from the guest list since they had both been requested by Jackie.

Smile for the cameras! Via Pinterest
Smile for the cameras! Via Pinterest

An article in Reader’s Digest gives some more insight into Jackie’s memories of the evening.

The queen had her revenge,” she confides to Gore Vidal. “No Margaret, no Marina, no one except every Commonwealth minister of agriculture they could find.” Jackie also tells Vidal that she found the queen “pretty heavy going.” (When Vidal repeats this to Princess Margaret some years later, the princess loyally explains, “But that’s what she’s there for.”)

Over dinner, Jackie continues to feel awkward, even persecuted. “I think the queen resented me. Philip was nice, but nervous. One felt absolutely no relationship between them.”

The queen asks Jackie about her visit to Canada. Jackie tells her how exhausting she found being on public view for hours on end. “The queen looked rather conspiratorial and said, ‘One gets crafty after a while and learns how to save oneself.’ ” According to Vidal (who is prone to impose his own thoughts on others), Jackie considers this the only time the queen seems remotely human.

After dinner, the queen asks Jackie if she’d like to see “some pictures.” Yes, says Jackie, she certainly would. The queen takes her for a stroll down a long gallery in the palace. They stop in front of a Van Dyck. The queen says, “That’s a good horse.” Yes, agrees Jackie, that is a good horse. From Jackie’s account, this is the extent of their contact with one another, but others differ. Dinner at Buckingham Palace, writes Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in his diary that night, is “very pleasant.”

That’s a good horse??!! Too funny. The visit was just four months after JFK’s inauguration, so Jackie was still getting into the swing of things.

Nine months later, she returned to London and stayed with her sister Lee, who lived just four blocks south of Buckingham Palace. The Queen asked both Jackie and Lee to lunch which seems to me like a very nice thing to do, and they accepted. Here they are heading out the door on March 28, 1962:

Jackie & Lee Head to the Palace (via )
Jackie & Lee Head to the Palace (via Architectural Digest)

When they returned, reporters asked Jackie about the visit and we have video of it here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6W3oeIc6i4]

Jackie was very diplomatic and tells reporters, “I don’t feel I should say anything about it except how thankful I am and how charming she was.”

If only we could hear what Jackie and Lee’s conversation was once they were inside! I love how Jackie went from reporting the coronation to being a guest at the palace as First Lady, and it does seem like in the end all was well.

What do you think – was there no love lost?

The Luxembourg Royal Wedding

Hurray…it’s been a long time since we had a royal wedding in Europe and today did we ever have one! 30 year old Prince Guillaume, the oldest son of Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, married 28 year old Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.

Prince Guillame holds the title of Hereditary Grand Duke as next in line. Here he is with Stephanie. They announced their engagement this past April:

As a member of the Belgian nobility, Stephanie calls lovely Anvaing Castle home:

She has a master’s degree and has studied Russian literature and is also fluent in German, Dutch, and French. She is working on becoming fluent in Luxembourgish, which is a language that is mostly spoken an not written in Luxembourg. It is one of the country’s official languages, along with French and German.

For his part, Prince Guillame has studied at Sandhurst (like William and Harry and various Jordanian royals) as well as at the University of Durham and Brunei University. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Institut Albert-Le Grand in Angers.

Here are the Grand Duke and Duchess themselves. This picture was taken at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling. As you can see, Luxembourg is not lacking in bling:

Luxembourg is the only Grand Duchy in the world. The country is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany and is slightly smaller than the state of Rhode Island at 998 square miles.

And, look! Luxembourg was hit with royal wedding fever:

There were even chocolates made:

Today’s wedding ceremony, which we will get to shortly, was preceded by a civil ceremony yesterday. Here is the happy couple before their civil ceremony which was held yesterday at Luxembourg City Town Hall:

Let’s get a look at the whole outfit, shall we?

And here is the Grand Duke and Duchess with their daughter Princess Alexandra (who was one of the bridesmaids today) and son Prince Sebastien:

Prince Guillame’s other brother Prince Louis is already married to Princess Tessy. They married in 2006 in a shot gun royal wedding that we can perhaps get into another time. Here they are arriving at the civil ceremony, looking very swish:

And onto the big event!

The wedding ceremony today was held in Luxembourg Cathedral. Princess Stephanie (she became a princess during the Civil Ceremony, you see) arrived in a car bedecked in flowers:

And OMG look at all that loveliness. Layers and layers of it:

Her dress is by Lebanese designer Elie Saab and is GORGEOUS! It is reported to have taken no fewer than 3,200 hours to make. I can believe it.

People are going to make comparisons to Kate’s dress and I can see why, what with the lace overlay, sleeves, and extensive train. I think Countess Stephanie’s just looks more…floaty, ethereal, and just prettier. After all, she didn’t have to worry about incorporating shamrocks and thistles and such…

Now that we know that the wedding dress designer was Elie Saab, let’s take a step back to briefly discuss the pre-wedding banquet which was held last night.  Princess Stephanie chose Elie Saab for this event as well.

Here she is toasting with the Grand Duke:

So gorgeous, right? You may recall that Crown Princess Victoria wore Elie Saab for the events the night before her wedding, so Elie sure has a royal stamp of approval! Here is Crown Princess Victoria in her Elie Saab dress that night, which has some similarities.

Before we jump back to the wedding, let’s take a look at some of the other attendees at the banquet.

The British Royal Family’s go-to wedding guests, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, were there. Looking good, Sophie!

And here we have one of my faves, Princess Mette-Marit of Norway looking lovely in red along with Princess Caroline of Monaco and Princess Marie-Chantall of Greece. Hurray for tiaras!

And to round it out, Crown Princess Victoria wore Elie Saab again! Love it:

Ok, back to the wedding ceremony. We can see the gown better here. Princess Stephanie was escorted by her brother Count Jehan de Lannoy and her attendants were decked out in the colours of the House of Nassau:

Not sure how successful that was, but I appreciate the thought there. The older bridesmaids look lovely. It’s just that that blue and orange on the little ones looks a bit costumey to me. It’s not the best colour combo ever.

And here they are with the Archbishop of Luxembourg before heading into the church:

The Luxembourg version of the Pippa moment! They each got different dress details! Love that.

Now that’s a train! It is 13 feet long:

The couple at the altar:

The bride wore her family’s tiara, and oodles of info on it can be found here.

The ceremony was conducted in both french and english and included a moment of silence for the bride’s mother, who passed away at the age of 70 two months ago.

Afterwards, the prince and prince  had their balcony moment at the Grand Ducal Palace. That’s bridesmaid Princess Alexandra in the peachy tangerine:

More festivities like a fireworks display are being held to celebrate.

So what do we think? Is this dress a winner? Was I being too harsh about the blue and orange attendants? Let’s chat.