Back in 1995, Princess Diana held a secret meeting with a member of the family that was the closest America may ever have to a royal family – the Kennedys. John F. Kennedy, Jr. was one of the most prominent celebrities in the U.S. prior to his death in 1999 at the age of 38. Reader’s Digest reports that when word of a meeting between the dashing attorney, journalist, and magazine publisher and the princess after she had separated from Prince Charles got around, rumors and speculation were abundant with people wondering for the reason for the meeting. Diana and John were well aware of the talk and managed to keep their meeting secret by simply walking into their meeting place, the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, through the front door instead of the through the side door where the press had gathered.
All the salacious theories contrived by the media and others were completely off the mark. Princess Diana and JFK Jr. met to discuss the possibility of her appearing on the cover of Kennedy’s magazine, George. It was a magazine that combined politics and celebrity. Its catchphrase was “Not just politics as usual,” and it tried to make politics more appealing to people by featuring celebrities like Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Julia Roberts, and Arnold Schwarzenegger alongside political topics. Princess Diana had never met John before, so when she received the request to appear on the cover of George, she said she would like to meet him first. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, and Diana refused the opportunity.
Carolyn Bessette was married to John F. Kennedy, Jr. when he died. When they married in 1996, she was suddenly thrust into the spotlight to which the Kennedy had become accustomed to having lived in the public eye their entire lives. People reports that it was a difficult experience for Bessette and that her fear of the paparazzi escalated greatly following Princess Diana’s death. RoseMarie Terenzio worked as John’s assistant at George. She described Bessette’s fear.
“At the time, John and Diana were the two most famous people in the world. Carolyn was horrified by Diana’s death. She worried about her children and how they’d grow up without their mom. But she was also rattled by the fact that it could happen to John—that it could happen to her. She feared, ‘Now they’re going to focus on us even more because they don’t have her.'”
John tried to soothe Bessette’s fears following Diana’s death. Kathy McKeon worked as an assistant to John’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and recalled the night of the princess’s funeral when Bessette’s fear of the paparazzi came up in conversation. John asked McKeon to tell Bessette how his mother had handled the press. She replied, “She was nice to them—she smiled and gave them one good picture.” John asked Carolyn, “Did you get that? You’re treating them all wrong,” to which she replied, “I hate those b******s.”
John F. Kennedy, Jr. died along with Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren Bessette when a plane he was flying crashed into the Atlantic Ocean as the three traveled from Fairfield, New Jersey to Martha’s Vineyard to attend the wedding of his cousin Rory Kennedy.