Love Letters From the Prince of Camelot
What follows is the complete correspondence between Kennedy and Gunilla von Post: Eleven letters and three telegrams sent between March 1954 and August 1955.
LETTER 1 – 3/2/54
Do you remember our dinner and evening together this summer at Antibes and Cagnes. How are you? – and what are you now doing in Paris, you said you were going to work for an airline. Do you – and do you fly to the United States. I expect to return to France in September. Will you be there? Best, John Kennedy c/o T.J. Reardon 3134 Dumbarton Avenue N.W. Washington D.C.
LETTER 2 – 6/28/54
It now appears as though I shall be coming to Europe at the end of August. Will you be busy – or might it be possible to meet. What are you doing now. Will you stay there for the summer – or will you return to Cagnes. I thought I might get a boat and sail around the Mediterranean for two weeks – with you as crew. What do you think? Best, Jack.
LETTER 3 – 8/16/54
I was very glad to hear from you again. I still believe I shall come to Europe in the fall – and would like to be sure that you could leave Sweden and come to Paris – or perhaps go to the Cote d’Azur (sic) – Qu’est-ce que vous pense (sic)? Let me know – as I do not want to drift through Europe waiting for a message from the North that never comes. Best, Jack.
TELEGRAM 1 – 9/3/54
LEG INJURED AND HOSPITALIZED TRIP POSTPONED WILL WRITE MANY REGRETS – JOHN
LETTER 4 – 11/12/54
I am still in the hospital after two months. I was terribly disappointed that at the last moment I was not able to come to Europe – especially when you were going to be in Paris – and we could have had such a good time. I expect to be here another month – then go back to Washington in January – we will finish there in July – and then without fail – I shall come over – if you are not all settled down by then. Is there any chance you will be coming to the U.S.? Best, Jack.
LETTER 5 – 12/18/54
I must say you are a good correspondent. Under that beautiful, controlled face that still haunts me – beats a warm heart. There is a nurse on this floor that comes from Sweden. But she is dark-black haired. I say to her how could you leave the Venice of the North. But she replies – New York is so much nicer. How can she think that. She must be French. Why do you not suggest to the Swedish Automobile Association that they send you to the U.S. to explain the beauties of driving through Sweden to American tourists – or why couldn’t your cousin have been minister to Washington instead of Warsaw. I leave here Tuesday – and then go to Palm Beach for two months to stay with my family to recover and then go back to Washington. We stay in session in Washington until the end of July and then I return to the mountains of Cagnes. Your Jack. I shall be c/o J.P. Kennedy Palm Beach Florida until March – afterward back in Washington.
LETTER 6 – 3/12/55
Many thanks for your letter. I was wondering what had become of you. I finally got out of the hospital for the 2nd time and for good – and expect to go back to Washington in another month. And there I shall look around for your friend – the Swedish Ambass. Daughter – why do you not come to visit her? When the Senate is finished at the end of July – I am going to Indo-China and Formosa. But first I am coming to Europe – Qu’est-ce que vous feriez? What town in Europe are you recommending to the users of the Swedish Royal Automobile Society. What is the best beach in Italy to sit for two weeks and watch the waves come in. If I join the Society – will they let you decide my trip. This time I shall not fail to come – and you? Best, Jack. Write me after April 11th at the Senate Office Bldg. – The Capitol Washington D.C.
LETTER 7 – 6/25/55
Many thanks for your letter. I was delighted to hear from you. Send me your picture standing in front of 45 Skyransgatan (sic). I expect to be finished here around the first of August – I thought I would come to Europe around the 12th. If you are in Sweden – I shall come there. There must be a beach in Sweden. If you go to Italy I shall come there. I should like to get a boat and sail around. Qu’est-ce que vous pensez? And then in September – I shall go to Vietnam and Japan sadly. Did you see in the paper that our friend – the cold, frozen Mr. Gavin Welby – got married to Mr. Churchill’s secy. Something must have happened. I have not met your friend – Mona Boheman as yet – but I am looking forward to asking her if she knows a beautiful Swedish girl with a quiet smile who lived on top of a mountain in the Cote d’Azur (sic) in August 1953. Jack.
LETTER 8 – 7/12/55
Many thanks for your letter. My plans are your plans – so now instead of going to the warm Riviera – I am going to Sweden where the summers are, according to what you once wrote to me, ‘cold and damp.’ I thought I would leave here by boat around the 27th of July – and drive by car from Le Havre to Sweden and you. Is that possible? There seems to be a good deal of water in between. Get out all of your old Swedish Automobile Ass. maps and tell me how many miles I must drive and how long it will take – and how to go. If you should decide meanwhile to go to Italy, let me know as I do not want to be freezing in Scotland, while you are warm in Capri. If you want to go to Italy later in August – I will need someone to point out the right roads – so I will borrow you from the Royal Automobile Ass. So let me know your schedule for August again – Write soon – Jack – And don’t forget the photo.
LETTER 9 – 7/20/55
I received your letter – and the picture of Visby and your photograph – which I liked best of all. I am now planning to come on the 29th of July on the Ile de France – which gets to Le Havre the 4th of August – or the 5th of August on the United States which gets in the 10th. Sweden must be more than 120 Swedish miles from Le Havre – or is a Swedish mile 5 times longer than anyone else’s mile? I assume you got to Stockholm to to meet your sister in August. Would you send me your address in Bastaad (sic) – and I will let you know exactly where I am. It is hot here – 101° – and I am anxious to leave and to see my Swedish friend. Jack.
LETTER 10 – 7/22/55
Everything is set. I leave on the United States on the 5th of August – in Le Havre the 10th and shall be in Bastaad (sic) on about the 12th – I think a friend will drive with me – could you get us two seperate (sic) rooms. I can’t read your Swedish very well – as to your address in Bastaad (sic) – but I’ll find you one way or another. Of that I am sure. Until we meet – Jack.
LETTER 11 – 8/22/55
How are you? Did you survive the day on the farm – I must say you did not seem sad to see the last of MacDonald & myself – were you relieved? I just got word today – that my wife & sister are coming here. It will all be complicated the way I feel now – my Swedish flicka. All I have done is sit in the sun & look at the ocean & think of Gunilla… All love, Jack.
TELEGRAM 2 – UNDATED
WANT TO TALK TALK WITH YOU PLEASE CABLE ME HOTEL QUISISANA CAPRI WHERE I CAN REACH YOU MISS YOU LOVE JACK.
FINAL TELEGRAM – 8/10/55
- — C. Brian Smith