Over the centuries of its evolution, America has amassed a wealth of history – the dramas, legends and iconic personalities that have left their mark on this unique nation. 

America is perhaps unusual in its history, however, as it doesn’t lay claim to royal dynasties and generations of kings and queens that have helped to define many of the other countries around the globe. 

Is There An American Royalty?

Following the settlements of the Native Americans and the early colonies, the America we know today is largely the result of its proud heritage as a republic – a nation governed by its own people, rather than subject to royal rule or imperial governance. 

As such, there is no official American royalty. There are no crowned monarchs, no American kings of queens, no American princes or princesses. By extension, there is also no official American nobility or formal aristocratic class – the traditional elite social group that historically populated the royal courts of the world.  

This has been the case for many centuries, ever since the Founding Fathers made their Declaration of Independence on the original 4th July in 1776, America has been a nation without an allegiance to a foreign monarch or king of ruling sovereign within its own lands. 

Yet, even though there has traditionally been no formal royal family or ruler presiding over the American people, the evolution of American society has seen its share of legendary leaders who have lived like kings and queens, enjoying levels of power and prestige that the great royals of the ages would recognise. 

On occasion, an entire family has become renowned and esteemed in ways comparable to the royal families and greatest dynasties around the world. 

The Kennedy Family – American Royalty

One such family from modern American history is the famous Kennedy clan, who rose to fortune and then fame through their wealth, political leadership and global celebrity. 

The Kennedy family at the Kennedy Compound in 1931 – Photograph by Richard Sears in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The origins of the Kennedy fame began with Joseph Patrick Kennedy, who steered his family to a position of considerable wealth and political influence. Coming from Irish and Catholic heritage, this Kennedy patriarch was to become famous for his efforts in establishing his offspring in high-ranking positions within the American halls of power.  

It was no secret that J P Kennedy wished to see his family rise to the ultimate position of prestige and influence within America – a seat in the White House. 

Although he was unable to attain the position of President of The United States for himself – though he came extremely close – his intention for his eldest son to become ‘King of America’ was an ambition at the heart of the Kennedy family life, even from the children’s earliest years. 

This plan was not to be, however, as the eldest Kennedy child, Joseph Jr, was killed in the war before he could deliver on his father’s great hopes and dreams of potential. 

John F Kennedy – Prince Of The People

The vision for a Kennedy president was not abandoned after the tragic death of Joseph Jr, and the next in line to the family throne-in-the-making was his younger brother Jack – or to give him his full name, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 

John F Kennedy would not only go on to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing his son in The White House, but he would also become one of America’s most famous presidents, and one of the world’s most iconic figures. 

As a popular politician, one who embraced the cause of the American People in a refreshingly modern way, JFK would assume a position within his own nation and around the world alongside the most powerful kings, queens and world leaders. 

This Prince of The People would play a role in the American Republic much like a beloved monarch of the historic royal dynasties from centuries past. 

Jackie Kennedy – Queen of America

Like many famous royals, the fame and influence of John F Kennedy were undoubtedly enhanced by his glamourous and popular wife, Jacqueline. 

Jackie Kennedy is perhaps one of America’s most iconic First Ladies – a role likened to Queen of America – albeit within the US’s signature republican hierarchy. 

Known and adored throughout the world, Jackie Kennedy was a famous celebrity in her own right, regarded as a style icon and the ultimate VIP for any guest list during the 1950s and 1960s. 

This kind of esteem and influence, coupled with the enormous wealth enjoyed by the Kennedy family and the prestige of the presidency, made for a lavish and historic life, one lived in the spotlight as the whole world couldn’t get enough of America’s glamorous First Lady. 

Tragedy & The Kennedy Family

Though the Kennedy family may have enjoyed the kind of lives that the kings and queens of the ages had known well, they shared with the world’s royal dynasties the sad truth that wealth, power and prestige could offer no protection from tragedy and cruel twists of fate. 

The most famous example of what came to be known as The Kennedy Curse is undoubtedly the shocking and highly public assassination of John F Kennedy as he rode in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas in 1963.

This tragic narrative was to be repeated when JFK’s younger brother Robert, also a prominent politician, was also assassinated a few years later.  

Alongside these high-profile incidents that shocked the world, the family also experienced its share of more private tragedies, including plane crashes, freak accidents, illness, addiction and scandal. 

While the American people can lay no claim to official kings and queens, there are likely few who would argue that the Kennedy Family was perhaps as close to royalty as was possible within a contemporary republic. 

With their fame, wealth, celebrity, glamour, privilege, power and drama, the public lives of the most famous Kennedy family members echo the status and esteem of even the world’s greatest royals. Even though their tenure as American royalty was not to end happily, their iconic legends enrich the history of America as much as any crowned sovereign.