They're two of the two most noteworthy women in history, Queen Elizabeth II and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Haunted by reports of rumored rivalries, an internal source has finally spoken out to reveal the truth.
When Worlds Collide
It all started in 1961. John F. Kennedy had just been announced president of the United States. His wife, Jacqueline, was coined the first lady - and Queen Elizabeth II was ten years into her reign over the United Kingdom.
Considering the circumstances, it was in their power to join forces and unite. Of course, given royal and presidential duties, they were bound to cross paths regardless. Nevertheless, once they finally did, their time together was anything but ordinary. But where did it even begin?
Jackie, The Camera Girl
Growing up, Jacqueline Kennedy was a city girl from Southhampton, New York. Her father was a wealthy Wall Street stockbroker, and she grew up surrounded by a mix of cultures. Her father's side was French, while her mother, Janet, had roots in Ireland and England. Though, she followed her own path when it came to a career.
Jacqueline was an aspiring camera girl and landed a job in 1951 for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper. She was the fresh face behind the camera, asking questions on current issues, and meeting important people - one being John F. Kennedy.
Coming Full Circle
The inquiring camera girl and the congressman hit it off and wedded in 1953, the same year Jackie covered the Queen's coronation. Little did she know, she would come into contact with the Queen herself - only not as a camera girl but as the first lady. When Kennedy was announced president, Queen Elizabeth II invited them to her home.
Despite rumored tensions, Jackie and her husband were invited to dinner at Buckingham Palace. The rumors were outdated, but the media played up to them for a story. Given Jackie's experience, she should have understood the tricky industry. Yet, one specific person knew Jackie for who she really was, dismissing the feudal headlines.
Meeting Clint Hill
Clint Hill came into Kennedy's life when J.F.K. took over his duties in the oval office. From 1958 to 1975, he ran his duties to high-quality performance and continued his secret service for five other agents. Although, throughout Kennedy's presidency, he became particularly protective of Jackie Kennedy.
Hill stood by Jackie's side through thick and thin, the happiest and even the darkest times. For four years, he swore to always prioritize Jackie's privacy. Though he ran his course for 47 years, he had a relationship with Jackie like no other boss. In return, Jackie trusted Hill with her life, giving him a mass of internal politics.
Secrets To Tell
The secret agent and first lady had a relationship like no other boss and employee, especially when this job ran at such high stakes. They had an indescribable bond that only very few people knew about. Not that it was meant to be a secret, but their roles and reputation in office required utter professionalism.
Hill kept the information private for years and never thought twice about revealing the ins and outs of the Kennedy lifestyle. Although, there was an element that he knew too much. Little did anyone know that he would reveal the personal information in a tell-all memoir years later. So, what was so important he had to share?
It was always under question what Jackie Kennedy was really like. She was one of the most powerful and leading women in the public eye throughout the 60s. As the first lady, all eyes were on her at all times. Every motion was documented, analyzed, and manipulated. Of course, the media were good at getting what they wanted.
The press couldn't access everything. With high security and the eyes and ears of Clint Hill, the Kennedys became experts and showed what they wanted and hid what they needed. They often asked Hill questions, trying to obtain low-key information. Knowing he rarely left her side, it was up to him whether he answered these questions.
For four years straight, it is unimaginable how much intel Hill managed to secure. We can't imagine his resume after retirement. As a secret agent, we can only wonder if he had to take notes to remember details, especially when it came to protecting the couple. This could have included special protocol, what to say, how to avoid the press.
As decades passed, we soon learned that Hill was storing the memories he had with the Kennedys. Though, this wasn't in the average draw with files upon track records. Instead, this was a special secret service compartment that clearly only he had access to. The truth always comes out, and in this case, it had to do with Jackie's image.
The Moment of Truth
The Kennedys underwent their daily oval office duties - and Hill was there to witness them all. Although, he was also present during personal times. Hill was a target. The press knew he had the dirt to get a good story, and the pushy paparazzi were in it for a good price. But what was this yearning narrative?
Unsurprisingly, the press believed Hill knew the alleged truth behind the Queen and Jackie Kennedy's relationship. While the media dabbled, there wasn't secure evidence the two leading ladies were constantly in between feuds. After Jackie and J.F.K. visited the Queen for dinner, the press wished they were a fly on the wall.
Between 1960 and 1964, Hill spent his days as the human shield between the White House and the outside world. There was no trespassing, and it would have taken a breaking and entering to find out deep insights into the presidential world. Hill's mind was a whirlwind of memories, including the tragic death of J.F.K.
He had witnessed too much for the before, present, and aftermath of only the most private of situations. How could he have kept it in this whole time? Surely there must have been an emotional breaking point. Did Hill ever wonder: was Jackie next? How could he protect her? Although, it might have been himself that needed safekeeping.
'The Crown''s Depiction
Though most occurrences within the royal and presidential families remain public, there is only so much the public is aware of. Though, when taking into consideration Netflix's The Crown, we can only wonder how producers and writers wrote each episode with such depth - especially when Season 2 came around.
In one scene, Queen Elizabeth II and her mother are watching Jackie Kennedy in Paris. The Queen's mother says, "I always thought she was the same age as you." the Queen replies, "she is." After announcing Jackie will head over to Buckingham Palace, the Queen's mother gushes - and the Queen boils with jealousy. But what really happened?
Sure enough, as Hill cleaned out his garage decades later, he stumbled upon a steamer trunk holding a box full of memories: before his eyes were a stash of photographs and documents that he had stored during his time at the White House. What did all of this mean? Hill was reluctant to act on his findings.
The golden locked steamer trunk - this was the valve to the answers the press chased all this time. But, Hill was too devoted to the time he spent with the Kennedys. He was going to keep this information to himself. That is, until a new idea struck. And nothing would ever be the same again...
It was a pandemic moment. When Hill and his wife, Lisa, were moving boxes around, their eyes instantly locked on the long-lost chest. On the trunk, the words "Clinton Hill The White House Washington D.C" were engraved. But those few words said a whole lot. And that is when the idea sparked.
They decided to write a memoir, detailing his treasured memories with the first lady and her beloved husband. But they would never have thought it would lead to a cultural phenomenon, revealing cherished and intimate moments with the presidential figures. The trunk had not been touched for 50 years - but he was ready to share his truth.
Around the World
Sure enough, his trunk had more than just photographs and documents - from signed contracts to captured moments at lavish dinners. The discovery had taken the pair back in time, especially Hill. Inside, he found handwritten notes from his travels to Paris, Ravello, India, Venezuela, and Mexico.
There were handwritten ones from Hill as documentation but also those which were addressed to Mrs. Kennedy. He had the utmost respect for Jacqueline. It was never Jackie or Jacqueline, rather, her renowned title. He was overwhelmed. This was a time capsule of the magical years spent with perhaps the most famous woman in the world.
As Hill told People, these memories were "long forgotten." And there weren't enough words to describe the feeling of re-visiting this sort of time capsule, though if called for the happiest of memories. It was unfathomable to understand what Hill went through with the Kennedys, so much so that he had to write about it.
Aside from the photographs and letters, there were other treasures. Tiny ornaments held so many memories for Hill, including ones with presidential seals and notes written by President Truman and President Eisenhower. As he dug further into the trunk, he found gifts from the Kennedys and photos from traveling. It was truly a sight to be seen.
Setting the Record Straight
After this miraculous discovery, Hill knew there was only one thing to do with it. He wanted to reveal the truth about Jacqueline and the Queen, the truth they deserved. He only had positive thoughts about the two, and so, with only the best intentions, he decided to write a tell-all memoir.
Considering the stash of memories, he didn't question whether there would be enough to write about. Even so, he didn't think no one would be interested. Instead, it was a gold mine. This is what the people wanted, but he wasn't ever going to let the press take coverage of it. Who knows how they could have manipulated the information?
According to Town and Country Magazine, Hill explained, "Way back in the '50s, and '60s, and '70s, the press would give us photos that they had taken by the boatload, and we'd scavenger through and find the ones we were interested in, we'd keep those. I'd bring them home and just throw them in a box. I had boxes full."
Hill continued to reminisce, "So it wasn't unusual to see this amount of material within that trunk, but some of it was historically significant." Hill knew that his collection of 200 photographs would be enough to fill the void people were yearning for. He wanted to provide a measurement of history that only had a heartwarming outcome.
The Real Jackie O
Although, it wasn't always a presidential circus. Hill admitted there were the well-deserved casual days spent with Jackie's young children, Caroline and John, in Middleburg, Virginia, where they owned a country home. Hill recalled, "She was just one of the locals. She wasn't the star, and that made her happy."
Hill continued to gush over the former first lady, "There was no one else like her." It was a trusted friendship that lasted forever. He told People he dreamed his book would offer "a better understanding of who Mrs. Kennedy really was… She was a one-of-a-kind unofficial ambassador, and she made a global impact."
Despite Hill's long-lost and untold memoir, there was still no unveiled truth of bad blood between Jackie and Queen Elizabeth II. At the end of the day, Hill knew everything. If there was something to mention decades later, there was nothing left to hide and nothing to lose. He made a risk the moment he chose to release the book.
It was clear once the memoir was revealed, the media took advantage of a compelling storyline. As a way of stirring the plot for gold, the two most well-known women in history had a spotlight on them. And the media continued to play against them. Luckily, Hill was ready to set the record straight.
Mrs. Kennedy & Queen Elizabeth II
Hill's memoir titled, My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy was an open book, pardon the pun. He revealed everything and anything he could remember, and while readers might be disappointed, it seemed the media had gotten it all wrong. Though, one chapter in specific was the golden ticket to everyone's desires.
One chapter was titled "Mrs. Kennedy & The Queen," which particularly described Jackie's secret lunch visit in 1962. Hill revealed, "They had a good relationship. I know that the press has sometimes written it otherwise, but that's not really true. The relationship was friendly, more warm than it was cold."
47 Years of Memories
What was it about this one chapter that sparked so much desire? Hill had just revealed 47 years' worth of memories into one book, and we aren't surprised by the mass of information. If Hill had not found the hidden treasure chest of truth, would this memoir be alive today?
This was a tell-all written by the secret agent himself. There were no blurred lines, simply photographs that said it all - revealing what relationships were really like during this cherished time. As readers flipped through the pages, Hill had a gift of making them feel like they were really there.
This was a special project for Hill. It was the moment of truth where speculation would come to an end, there was no time for further questions. Hill confessed, "they were two young mothers navigating life in the harsh spotlight, who found common ground talking about their kids, and their passion for all things equestrian."
He continued, "They had small children, and they had horses. Two things that they could discuss forever." More importantly, as far as the eventful Buckingham Palace visit went, Jackie told Hill it was nothing but "delightful." It seemed things were anything but unpleasant between the two.
Friends At Last
Despite the audience's perception of their relationship via the Netflix series, it seems the two had a rather amicable friendship, to say the least. It seemed they were actually friends, so it is a mystery where the bad blood was stimulated from. Thanks to Hill, this was put to bed.
Hill's chapter shed light on Queen Elizabeth II's persona, which had more significance as the book debuted a few weeks before her Majesty passed, and thankfully just in time. We wonder if the Queen had a chance to glance at the chapter with a gleaming smile, remembering Jackie's visit.
On September 8th, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign sadly came to an end. The day of her passing shook not only the entire nation but everyone around the world. As the longest-lasting reign in history, she left a mark on the British nation as well as the White House.
The global community witnessed her Majesty travel around the world and create loving relationships with other women in power, specifically Jackie O. The White House even released an official statement following her death, stating she "defined an era" where people "all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection."
Despite the concentration on Hill revealing the truth about Jackie and Queen Elizabeth II's relationship, it's almost impossible to forget about the remaining chapters of the book. Hill knew everything and anything there was to know when it came to the White House adventures, which included special trips.
Hill devoted his pages to the exotic vacations they took as a presidential family. This included flights to Cape Cod, Palm Beach, and Italy. He told stories no one would have ever heard before, not in an interview or in a casual conversation. Still, despite revealing them now, there was a reason these trips were kept for safekeeping.
Hill was a loved secret service agent by many, and there were obvious reasons for this. He had a trusted instinct and aura that allowed him to secure jobs that stored crucial information. Given the media, we have established this is only a snippet of a thousand words they might have been told. Hill knew it all.
Now, with the memoir, Hill was given a chance to tell all. This doesn't necessarily mean these events were of bad nature, but they were most definitely not for the public eye. The Kennedys still wanted to live a life of privacy, and Hill made sure this happened. In his memoir, he revealed the shocking events they all got up to.
Final Days in Dallas
Although, it is clear to the world it was not all happy days being in the presence of the Kennedys. Unfortunately for Hill, he was present at the very moment J.F.K. was ambushed. He had a seat in the Secret Service followup car, cruising through Dallas, when fate struck before his eyes. When he opened them, it was an image he would never forget.
For Hill, it was in his right to protect Jackie at that very moment. No one really knew what to do, and who would? But, considering their relationship, Jackie was forever grateful Hill was nearby at that moment. Though very few people were there, the event turned the American nation upside down.
Hill recalled, "A lot of things happened in 1964." He opened up a lot about this day in the midst of reading the memoir. The now 90-year-old shared how he vowed to protect Mrs. Kennedy once the trigger was pulled. It wasn't a limousine anymore - it was a crime scene, and Hill needed to get himself and Jackie out of it.
Hill reflected, "It was the time when everything changed. Mrs. Kennedy had lost all the things associated with the Presidency and the children no longer had a father… All I could think about was Dallas… Mrs. Kennedy climbing out of the back seat, her terrified eyes looking but not seeing me, like I wasn't there."
Shaping a Legacy
Following the death of J.F.K., Jackie could only do so much to mark his moments in history. As the 35th and youngest elected president, he shaped the nation into his own. It was obvious he was loved by the American nation and served his country well. Hill told People that Jackie "wanted to be sure he was remembered as a great president."
When it came to remembering J.F.K., he touched his generation. He certainly left his mark on the American people. On his last day, the First Lady of Texas turned to Kennedy and commented, "Mr. President, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you," to which he replied, "No, you certainly can't."
His Other Memoirs
Although there was a spotlight on Hill's most recent memoir, there were more tales to tell. As established, it would be rather difficult to store 47 years into one book. In addition, Hill released bestsellers such as Five Days in November and Five Presidents, reflecting on the other members of the White House he guarded.
To be precise, Hill dove into detail regarding the five infamous and tragic days beyond J.F.K.'s assassination. In 1963, on November 22nd, three shots were fired, and the world stopped for four days. Co-authored with his wife, Lisa, they reveal the stories behind photographs and emotional yet crucial information regarding life after death.
The Story Continues...
Although Jacqueline and Queen Elizabeth are no longer with us, both British and American nations have memories locked in. Generation after generation is grateful for both of their services, which impacted citizens worldwide. They touched the hearts of all genders and ages, creating a legacy no one could ever match.
Both women have gone down in history and will be forever remembered. They both left marks on the world, and only in bright light. Both women served their duties to the fullest and never let their nations down. Of course, there are thousands more memories that are still left unwritten. For now...