Friday 4 January 2019

Inside the Heartbreakingly Tragic Final Days of John F. Kennedy Jr.

In Britain, they have the royal family—a centuries-long lineage that offers scandal, ignominy and deadly rivalries aplenty that can fill both a library's worth of historical biographies and enough petty rumor and innuendo to leave millions wondering if Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle really are getting into heated shouting matches in the halls of Kensington Palace. 

America, having rejected a monarchy of its own, has the Kennedys. A powerful political dynasty with seemingly endless branches that extend from the White House to Hollywood, the family's history is chock full of shocking deaths, fascinating mysteries and relationships both deliriously enchanting and tragically destructive. 

And for a period in the '80s and '90s, the undisputed prince of Camelot was John F. Kennedy, Jr. Blessed with the dashing good looks and undeniable charisma of his parents, President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, People's 1988 pick for Sexiest Man Alive intrigued the nation as he romanced the likes of Brooke Shields, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cindy Crawford and Daryl Hannah. 

But when the lawyer turned magazine editor first connected with statuesque Calvin Klein publicist Carolyn Bessette in 1994, he was the one left entirely captivated. 

Their Fourth of July engagement on Martha's Vineyard the following year was the stuff of romance novels, but behind the scenes, the blonde beauty made the political scion work to earn her hand in marriage. "She held the proposal off for about three weeks," a close friend revealed to People last year, "which I think just made him all the more intent on marrying her." 

Which he did, little more than a year later, whisking her off to Georgia's Cumberland Island for a top-secret ceremony at the First African Baptist Church, the eight pews holding such notables as Onassis' sister Lee Radziwill, John's uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy and his sister, matron of honor Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. The pair sliced a vanilla buttercream-frosted cake, danced to Prince and made headlines, most notably for the bride's simple bias-cut Narciso Rodriguez slip dress that transfixed the nation. 


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