Basmah Qazi


“The happiest man alive”: Never-before-seen footage of JFK Jr’s secret wedding

“The happiest man alive”: Never-before-seen footage of JFK Jr’s secret wedding

Viewers will be able to get a glimpse into the secret wedding of John F Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette later this year thanks to a new special.

The special, which was first announced in 2018, will share footage shot by Kennedy’s friend during his wedding to Bessette in 1996 on Cumberland Island in Georgia.

“On an island off of Georgia we came together on this 18th century plantation. In this dirty, dilapidated, shuttered church next to a pig sty,” a friend says in the preview.

“No air conditioning, very little power on the island. It was the best place for them to host a secret ceremony.”

That same friend then says afterwards: “Nobody would have expected that three years later we’d be at another church for another reason.”

The former first son fell victim to what many call the “Kennedy curse” and faced a tragic death. Speaking to People magazine in 2018, John Jr’s former assistant RoseMarie Terenzino said that the former bachelor was kept on his toes as Carolyn didn’t immediately agree to tie the knot.

“He went into this thing about how everything’s better with a partner, not just fishing but life,” she said.

But despite his determination, Carolyn found the fame that came with being John Jr's partner to be daunting.

“She held off the proposal for about three weeks. I think it made him all the more intent on marrying her,” said Terenzino.

They eventually married one another in a private ceremony, but the happiness was short-lived as three years later, the pair were killed in a plane crash as they travelled to the same island where John Jr first popped the question.

The tragedy occurred on July 16, 1999 as the couple and John Jr’s sister-in-law Lauren were en route to the wedding of his cousin Rory, with John Jr flying the plane.

They never made it.

It was later revealed that extreme weather conditions caused the plane to crash, claiming all three lives.

Their lives were cut short, during a period where the couple were still very much in love.

“To say their relationship was on the rocks is just inaccurate,” said Carole Radziwill, the former wife of John Jr’s cousin Anthony Radziwill.

“They loved each other – Carolyn was quite the loveable person.

“She was clever, she was naughty and she had the balance of being able to be really serious and deep yet funny.”

She went on to say: “I still miss her after all these years.”