The latest turn of events in the royal rift between the Sussexes and the Cambridges is about to play out on American soil… in what can only be best described as ‘a battle of the philanthropic galas.’
This time, the Kennedys have added to the cause célèbre as two opposing branches of the political dynasty will be hosting two very different ceremonies, celebrating two very different initiatives just days apart from one another.
On one side is President John F. Kennedy’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, 29, who has teamed up with the Prince and Princess of Wales to honor his grandfather’s legacy with five recipients of the ‘Earthshot Prize’ at the JFK Library Foundation in Boston on December 2.
The award is bestowed upon those who have taken on the environmental initiative to save our planet, which he says is ‘at a tipping point.’
One the other side is Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter, Kerry, 63, who is honoring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with the ‘Ripple of Hope Award’ – an award that she sensationally claimed was being given in a nod to their challenging the royal family’s power structure, while echoing their controversial cries of ‘racism’ within the monarchy.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before the Kennedys got pulled into the ongoing feud in the royal family given the two families’ decades-long connections.
However, things took a very heated turn last week when Kerry (president of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation) accused the monarchy of ‘structural racism.’
In an interview with the Spanih media outlet El Confidencial’s Vantitatis, she said: ‘They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health.’
The Kennedys are the latest to be sucked into the royal feud as separate branches of the political dynasty are hosting competing galas just days apart from each other in America next month. On December 2, the Prince and Princess of Wales will be in Boston honoring five recipients of the Earthshot Prize in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Just four days later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be feted in an extravagant New York City hosted by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights foundation for their work combatting institutionalized racism in the royal family
Prince William’s ‘Earthshot Prize’ was inspired by Kennedy’s famed ‘moonshot’ proposal in 1962 which put the first man on the moon and led to the development of new technology. Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take center stage as recipients of the ‘Ripple of Hope Award’ which is given by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation to those who ‘who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social change and worked to protect and advance equity, justice, and human rights’
Co-chairing the Earthshot event is Jack Schlossberg, (left), the 29-year-old grandson of John F. Kennedy who teamed up with Prince William to present five recipients that have taken on the environmental initiative to save our planet. Kerry Kennedy (right), is one of RFK’s 11 children and the president of the RFK Human Rights Foundation, says that the Sussexes have challenged the royal family’s ‘power structure’
She added that the embattled couple embodied ‘the type of moral courage that my father once called the ‘one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”
For this ‘moral courage,’ the Sussexes will be feted in a glittering gala where tickets are selling as high as $1million for a chance to share a table with the couple, while other packages run from $500,000 and include access to a VIP reception at which photographers are expected to snap the couple with the event’s main benefactors.
Indeed the shocking charge against the House of Windsor is at odds with the decades-long friendship fostered between the two families that begun when Joe Kennedy Sr., was appointed ambassador to Great Britain on the eve of World War II.
The new ambassador and his wife Rose Kennedy (née Fitzgerald) were welcomed into English society when they arrived in London with their nine gregarious children in March 1938.
That same year, Joe Kennedy’s second eldest daughter, Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy was given the honor to make her debut at Buckingham Palace. The socialite later marveled in her diary that she had ‘achieved the aim of every young girl’ by being ‘presented at the Court of St. James — the world’s greatest empire — ‘The Empire upon which the sun never sets.’
The highlight of their friendship with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth culminated in a weekend in which the royals hosted the Kennedys at Windsor Castle.
‘I lay in bed thinking I must be dreaming that I, Rose Kennedy, a simple, young matron from Boston, am really here at Windsor Castle the guest of the Queen and two little Princesses,’ remarked Rose of the memorable event in her journal.
Thus the scathing attack made by her granddaughter, Kerry, has even piqued members of her own family and left them ‘baffled.’ Her brother, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., told exclusively DailyMail.com that the decision to select Prince Harry and Meghan for their supposed ‘heroic stance’ against racism in the royal family was ‘bewildering.’
The long standing friendship between the Kennedy family and the House of Windsor began in 1938 when Joe Kennedy Sr., was appointed ambassador to Great Britain on the eve of World War II. Joe Sr. and Rose (pictured with five of their nine children in London) were welcomed into English society with open arms until his isolationist views during World War II led to him resigning in 1941
The close friendship between the Kennedy’s and the monarchy was cemented when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth hosted Ambassador Joe Kennedy Sr, (right) and his wife, Rose (left) for a weekend at Windsor Castle. ‘I lay in bed thinking I must be dreaming that I, Rose Kennedy, a simple, young matron from Boston, am really here at Windsor Castle the guest of the Queen and two little Princesses,’ remarked Rose of the memorable event in her journal
Historians are equally perplexed as the prestigious accolade was originally set up to honor RFK’s lifelong commitment to social justice and civil rights. As Attorney General, Robert Kennedy was responsible for drafting two of the most consequential pieces of legislation in American history: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed racial discrimination and removed many voting obstacles for black Americans.
Inspired by RFK’s iconic ‘Ripple of Hope’ speech in which he proclaimed: ‘Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.’ The RFK Human Rights Foundation set up the inaugural ‘Ripple of Hope Award’ in 2007 to honor those ‘who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social change and worked to protect and advance equity, justice, and human rights.’
Past recipients of the prestigious accolade include: John Lewis who galvanized the civil rights movement in 1965 when he led 600 peaceful protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu who campaigned against the apartheid in South Africa.
Adding to the legion of distinguished winners is also: Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
This year, the Sussexes will share distinction with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has courageously led his country through the senseless and violent Russian attack on Ukraine for the past nine months.
Which begs the question, what have Prince Harry and Meghan done to merit recognition?
Queen Elizabeth II famously hosted President John F. Kennedy and his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, at Buckingham Palace in 1961
The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation was founded in 1968 after RFK was assassinated on the presidential campaign trail. It was set up to honor the politician’s lifelong commitment to social justice and civil rights. As Attorney General, Robert Kennedy (pictured above next to Martin Luther King Jr.) was responsible for drafting two of the most consequential pieces of legislation in American history: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed racial discrimination and removed many voting obstacles for black Americans
Senator Robert F. Kennedy talks with Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Luthuli, a South African anti-apartheid activist in 1965. The ‘Ripple of Hope’ award was inspired by RFK’s iconic ‘Ripple of Hope’ speech in which he addressed the National Union of South African Students and proclaimed: ‘Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.’ The prestigious accolade has previously gone to Bill Clinton, John Lewis, Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu and Dr. Fauci – which has left historians baffled by the decision to name the Sussexs as recipients
Kerry spoke of her late father’s visit to apartheid South Africa in 1966 and said that Harry and Meghan have the ‘moral courage’ that many people didn’t to discuss racial justice.
‘Few would have the courage to question their colleagues, family and community about the power structure they maintained, and this is what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have done,’ Kennedy said.
Adding that the Sussexes ‘knew that if they did this there would be consequences… and that people would blame them for it. They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority.’
‘I think they have been heroic in taking this step,’ she said.
Kerry’s comments contradict the opinion of her own her brother, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who described the decision to honor Harry and Meghan as ‘bewildering.’
He and Kerry routinely spar publicly, especially over his vehement anti-vaccine stance.
Though he has no involvement in who receives the award, which is intended for ‘exemplary leaders across government, business, advocacy,’ he was surprised by this year’s choice.
One can’t help but draw comparisons between this new rift in the Kennedy family to the sometimes, adversarial sibling rivalry between President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
Though they were incredibly close and known to ‘finish each other’s sentences,’ one historian named Morris Wolff who worked as a liaison between the White House and Robert Kennedy at the Justice Department, spoke of their ‘complex relationship’ that was ‘playful’ yet sometimes ‘jealous’ – especially if the president became concerned that his brother might ‘one upmanship’ JFK by gaining too much media attention.
Meanwhile, standing in stark contrast to the Sussexes’ ostentatious New York City gala are the Cambridges, who are taking the spotlight off themselves to honor those who have taken on the ambitious and noble initiative to save planet earth.
The Earthshot Prize is a tribute to President Kennedy’s historic 1962 ‘moonshot’ speech in which he galvanized a nation to dream the impossible and become the first country to land on the moon just seven years later in 1969.
Prince William said that he was inspired to start the Earthshot Prize by President Kennedy’s historic 1962 ‘moonshot’ speech in which he galvanized a nation to dream the impossible and become the first country to land on the moon just seven years later. Above, is the Queen’s congratulatory message that she sent to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin after they became the first men to walk on the moon on July 21, 1969
Co-chairing the Earthshot Prize celebration is Jack Schlossberg, the 29-year-old grandson of John F. Kennedy who eagerly welcomed the news on Twitter, retweeting a post by the JFK Library Foundation and writing, ‘Earth shot baby!’
‘I’ve long been inspired by President John F Kennedy’s 1961 mission to put a man on the moon within a decade — he named it the moonshot,’ said the Prince of Wales during a TED Talk in 2021.
‘We must harness that same spirit of human ingenuity and purpose and turn it with laser-sharp focus and urgency on the most pressing challenge we have ever faced – repairing our planet.’
Co-chairing the event is Jack Schlossberg, the 29-year-old grandson of John F. Kennedy who eagerly welcomed the news on Twitter, retweeting a post by the JFK Library Foundation and writing, ‘Earth shot baby!’
Prince William’s tribute to JFK’s legacy follows in the footsteps his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth who mourned the president’s death by having a bell toll for him in Westminster Abbey after his assassination in 1963.
Though she was pregnant with Prince Edward at the time and unable to attend the funeral, her husband, Prince Philip flew to Washington, D.C. to represent the British royal family at the service.
According to William Manchester’s book ‘The Death of a President,’ the Duke of Edinburgh struck up a sweet friendship with the late president’s son John F. Kennedy Jr., who turned three on the day of his father’s funeral.
At the White House on Sunday, November 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was looking for John Jr. when she opened the door to his playroom and found the Prince sprawled on the floor, laughing and playing with the murdered president’s son. Days earlier, little John had lamented that he ‘didn’t have anybody to play with’ and her Majesty’s husband took it upon himself to entertain the boy.
Despite a frosty start, Queen Elizabeth was said to be ‘deeply distressed’ by President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Two years later, on May 14, 1965, the monarch opened a memorial for the slain president at Runnymede in Surrey on an acre of land where the Magna Carta was sealed
During the Queen’s dedication speech for the JFK memorial in Surrey, she said: ‘The unprecedented intensity of that wave of grief, mixed with something akin to despair, which swept over our people at the news of President Kennedy’s assassination, was a measure of the extent to which we recognized what he had already accomplished, and of the high hopes that rode with him in a future that was not to be’
In May 2013, Prince Harry laid a bouquet of flowers on John F. Kennedy’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia
Of course, the friendship between the second generation Kennedys and royals wasn’t always smooth sailing.
More than two decades after their parents spent a fairy tale weekend at Windsor Castle, the monarch hosted the young American president and his wife at Buckingham Palace in June 1961.
Cecil Beaton noted in his diaries that Jacqueline Kennedy was unimpressed by the palace furnishings and by the Queen’s dress and hairstyle. According to Gore Vidal, Jacqueline found the monarch ‘pretty heavy going’ and felt ‘resented’ by her.
Despite a rocky start, the two women found common ground when discussing the difficulties of living life in the public eye.
When Elizabeth asked Jackie about her trip to Canada, she admitted that she found it draining to be in the spotlight. The queen reportedly responded, ‘One gets crafty after a while and learns how to save oneself.’
After dinner, the queen is said to have taken Jackie on a tour of the palace to view some of the art.
Nine months after the dinner at Buckingham Palace, Jackie had a more casual one-on-one meeting with Queen Elizabeth. She was visiting her sister in London when the royal invited her for lunch on March 28, 1962, according to Vanity Fair.
Jackie was far less vocal about this visit, telling the press, ‘I don’t think I should say anything about it except how grateful I am and how charming she was.’
President Kennedy never had a second meeting with Queen Elizabeth. He was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.
Two years later, the Queen dedicated a memorial to the assassinated president on the site of the sealing of the Magna Carter in 1965.
During her dedication speech, she told widowed Jackie Kennedy: ‘The unprecedented intensity of that wave of grief, mixed with something akin to despair, which swept over our people at the news of President Kennedy’s assassination, was a measure of the extent to which we recognized what he had already accomplished, and of the high hopes that rode with him in a future that was not to be.’