Jackie Kennedy Faced the Same Pressures as Meghan Markle
Jackie Kennedy is an American icon, known for her style, grace, and revamping American politics with her husband, then-President John F. Kennedy. However, before marrying JFK, the late first lady had huge dreams. Unfortunately, during the 1950s and 1960s, she could not pursue her career the way she may have hoped.
Likewise, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was a well-known actor and philanthropist before she married into the British royal family. However, after getting engaged to Prince Harry, she was forced to leave her life in North America, give up her dream career and face unparalleled scrutiny.
The late Mrs. Kennedy and Meghan faced very similar pressures nearly 60 years apart.
Jackie Kennedy gave up her career to marry John F. Kennedy
Kennedy never wanted to be a housewife. After graduating from George Washington University in 1951, she worked as a junior editor at Vogue magazine and then as an Inquiring Camera Girl at the Washington Times-Herald. Ironically, she covered Queen Elizabeth II’s inauguration in 1953 just before marrying JFK.
Even after her marriage, when JFK was a Senator, she continued her studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to occupy her time.
“Maybe I’m just dazzled and picture myself in a glittering world of crowned heads and Men of Destiny — and not just a sad little housewife,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to an Irish priest, Joseph Leonard via The Washington Post. “That can be very glamorous from the outside — but if you’re in it — and you’re lonely — it could be a Hell.”
The late Mrs. Kennedy eventually returned to her life in publishing after moving to New York City following the death of her second husband, Aristotle Onassis. But, in marrying the late JFK, she gave up many of her dreams and was thrust into the spotlight in a way she could never have anticipated.
Meghan Markle gave up her life to marry Prince Harry
Like the late Mrs. Kennedy, Meghan was very naive when it came to marrying into the British royal family. Though she already had some semblance of fame, she was not at all prepared for the racism and sexism she would face on the royal stage.
Moreover, she had to give up her life and many of her freedoms. In a tell-all interview with Oprah, the duchess describes surrendering her passport, ID, and key and being unable to even go to lunch with her friends.
Instead, she was locked away in her Frogmore Cottage estate in Windsor as the tabloids ran rampant with various stories about her.
Meghan Markle and Jackie Kennedy faced the same pressures
While Meghan was carefree about her role in the royal family, Kennedy was overly cautious about becoming a Kennedy.
“She was weary about his job and his family,” Aricia Skidmore-Williams revealed on the Even the Rich podcast “Both would draw her into the public in a way she found distasteful. I mean, she could be the inquiring camera girl and fade into the background. But she knew she wasn’t just marrying Jack, she was marrying his whole family. That’s the way it is with them.”
Meanwhile, Meghan never got in step with the British workflow. “There are inherently different working styles between Americans and Brits,” royal experts Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in Finding Freedom. “Americans can be much more direct, and that doesn’t often sit well in the much more refined institution of the monarchy. Sometimes the American matter-of-fact tone in British society could be viewed as abrasive.”
In the end, Kennedy thrived, while Meghan found a new path altogether.