By Caroline G. MacGillivray
Just when it seemed like the lights were dimming on the Kennedy saga—“Camelot,” as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wistfully called it—the members of the famous family have been called out for an encore. It’s typical of Kennedy girlfriends to be intimidated by the press attention—unless you are bringing the attention with you, like country singer Taylor Swift. This summer, Swift began dating Conor Kennedy, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy. Kennedy watchers and country fans alike were treated to images in global newspapers and magazines that were almost reminiscent of Camelot’s golden days.
Although the Kennedy and the country starlet sounds like a perfect match on paper, the romance has been more complicated than that. The relationship comes while Conor is reeling from his mother’s suicide in May, while she and her husband, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., were locked in a bitter divorce battle. There is also a wide age and lifestyle discrepancy—Kennedy, 18, moved for his junior year at Deerfield the same day 22-year-old Swift performed at the Video Music Awards. The Boston Globe accused Swift of “stalking” the famous family and trying to emulate some of its more prominent members to an almost obsessive extent. Several reports confirmed that Swift has even bought the house across the street from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. Kennedy brought Swift uninvited to a Kennedy wedding, and Swift refused to leave when the bride asked her to.
Hyannis and Hollywood have mixed before, when John F. Kennedy Jr. dated Kill Bill actress Daryl Hannah from 1986-1994. Like Swift, Hannah didn’t exactly fit the Kennedy mold. Although Hannah is an involved activist from a wealthy Chicago family, she did not have the elegance or the reserve of John’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Over the summer, Kennedy watchers speculated that Swift was attempting to become Jackie 2.0; she tossed her usual glittery garb aside in favor of 1950s style house dresses, and she has developed a newfound taste for touch football.
Only time will tell whether Conor and Taylor’s relationship is a summer fling or the real deal—but Kennedy watchers do not seem to be hailing the new Queen of Camelot just yet.
NOTE: As this issue was going to press, it was reported that Taylor Swift and Conor Kennedy broke up after three months of dating. A friend of Swift’s told Us Weekly, “It was just a distance thing.”