Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Queen Elizabeth II Never Really Got Along

The late Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy Onassis and Queen Elizabeth II didn’t get along. Both similar in age, one would think they’d find common ground although that never happened. They weren’t downright rude to each other but they weren’t thick as thieves either. Keep reading to learn more about their relationship.

When did Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Queen Elizabeth II meet? 

The two met at an unofficial dinner hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace on June 5, 1961. 

John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Jackie were in London to attend the christening of Jackie’s nephew on the heels of a very successful visit to France. JFK famously introduced himself as the man who accompanied Jackie to Paris because she received so much attention on the trip. 

Netfix’s original series about the British royal family, The Crown, depicted their first meeting. 

‘The Crown’ Season 2 Promo featuring Jackie and JFK visit | YouTube

Not exactly a banner first meeting as far as royal protocol’s concerned. 

Although Queen Elizabeth II and Jackie only met in person in June of 1951, they had been corresponding previously. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Jackie Kennedy Onassis fought over the guest list

Jackie and Queen Elizabeth II didn’t see eye to eye about the guest list for their unofficial dinner party. They had both put forward names for the guest list but an issue arose when Jackie suggested inviting her sister, Princess Lee Radziwill, and her husband, Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, who had both been divorced. 

Traditionally, divorcées weren’t invited to these types of events. 

“One divorce back then was too many for the queen and the monarchy,” The Washington Post later reported of the guest list drama. “The queen objected. The first lady objected to the objection.”

American President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) (right) and his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994) (second left), pose with Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain (second right) and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
President John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) (right) and his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 – 1994) (second left), pose with Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain (second right) and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, London, United Kingdom, June 15, 1961. | Photoquest/Getty Images

Caving to the pressure, Queen Elizabeth II invited Jackie’s sister and her husband, but it’s been suggested she retaliated by excluding other people the first lady wanted on the guest list. 

She failed to invite her sister, Princess Margaret, as well as Princess Marina.

“The queen had her revenge,” Jackie reportedly told Gore Vidal. “No [Princess] Margaret, no [Princess] Marina, no one except every Commonwealth minister of agriculture they could find.”

Possibly, there could have been tension already brewing between the two because of the guest list prior to their first in-person meeting. 

Jackie felt Queen Elizabeth II ‘resented’ her

The night they met, Jackie said Queen Elizabeth II didn’t think of her kindly. “I think the queen resented me,” Jackie reportedly said, according to Reader’s Digest

She very well could have because of the attention she received from the public and media but again, we don’t know for sure whether or not Queen Elizabeth II really and truly did hold feelings of resentment toward Jackie. 

She also remarked on Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II’s marriage. “Philip was nice but nervous. One felt absolutely no relationship between them,” Jackie said. 

Queen Elizabeth II may not have liked Jackie because of negative comments she made

One reason Queen Elizabeth II may not have liked Jackie is because she spoke ill of  Buckingham Palace and the British monarch.

Historians back up this claim, according to NBC. They say “there is some evidence that Jacqueline Kennedy was critical of Buckingham Palace and the queen.”

According to the photographer, Cecil Beaton, Jackie didn’t like Queen Elizabeth II’s style of clothing, hair, or her taste in furniture. 

Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Queen Elizabeth II
(Original Caption) Queen Elizabeth (right) flashes a radiant smile as she stands next to Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy after dinner at Buckingham Palace here June 5th. The U.S. President and the first lady were guests of the Queen and Prince Philip. This was the first time an American President dined at Buckingham Palace since 1918.

Beaton “claimed that Jackie was unimpressed with the palace furnishings and the queen’s comparatively old-fashioned wardrobe and hairstyle,” when she visited Buckingham Palace for the first time. 

Although the women didn’t hit it off during their first meeting, they met again the following year when only Jackie had tea with Queen Elizabeth II. 

“I don’t think I should say anything about it except how grateful I am and how charming she was,” is all she told the press about the visit.

While we don’t know for sure why Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Queen Elizabeth II didn’t get along very well, it’s safe to say they weren’t making friendship bracelets for each other.