It was the night American royalty met the real thing: the Kennedys welcomed to Britain with a dinner at Buckingham Palace in 1961.

But the new series of The Crown will claim that, behind the smiles, tensions ran high between the Queen and the First Lady.

Viewers of the Netflix drama will see the Queen barely able to conceal her jealousy of Jackie Kennedy, watching in dismay as she flirts with the Duke of Edinburgh, reports The Daily Telegraph.

When the smitten Duke says that Mrs Kennedy has asked him to show her around the palace, the Queen replies firmly: "It's my house so I'll do it."

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During the tour, the two women appear to bond. But days later, the Queen hears reports that Mrs Kennedy has bad-mouthed her.

The Queen's equerry, Lord Plunkett, says that he overheard the unkind comments while attending a party at the home of Lee Radziwill, Mrs Kennedy's sister.

Michael C Hall as John F Kennedy, Jodi Balfour as Jackie Kennedy, Claire Foy as the Queen and Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh. Photo / Netflix
Michael C Hall as John F Kennedy, Jodi Balfour as Jackie Kennedy, Claire Foy as the Queen and Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh. Photo / Netflix

He reports that the First Lady dismissed the Queen as "a middle-aged woman so incurious, unintelligent and unremarkable that Britain's new reduced place in the world was not a surprise but an inevitability". Buckingham Palace was "second rate, dilapidated and sad, like a neglected provincial hotel".

The Queen has tears in her eyes, before recovering herself and saying drily: "Well, we must have her again soon."

Mrs Kennedy's comments are not drawn from historical record - rather, they have been imagined by Peter Morgan, The Crown's writer.

They may not be a million miles from the truth, however. Mrs Kennedy is said to have confided in Cecil Beaton - noted in his diaries - that she was unimpressed by the palace furnishings and by the Queen's dress and hairstyle. According to Gore Vidal, Mrs Kennedy found the monarch "pretty heavy going" and felt "resented" by her.

The Kennedy visit took place in June 1961, seven months after John F Kennedy was elected.

They arrived in London after a trip to France, where the erstwhile Jacqueline Bouvier was a sensation. The president jokingly referred to himself in a speech as "the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris."

When Harold Macmillan says Mrs Kennedy charmed President de Gaulle by speaking fluent French, the Queen retorts: "Yes, we can all do that."

Morgan has used poetic licence to add another scene: Mrs Kennedy requesting a private audience with the Queen several months later, after learning that her biting comments had made their way back to the monarch.

She apologises for the "foolish" remarks and says she may have been high at the time on drugs supplied by her doctor. That is also based on fact: the Kennedys employed Dr Max Jacobson, a private physician who administered amphetamine injections to his celebrity clientele and is known to have accompanied the president to Paris.

The second series of The Crown will be available to watch from December 8, with Claire Foy and Matt Smith reprising their roles as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

According to the drama, Mrs Kennedy's appraisal of the Queen is one of several events that persuade the monarch to modernise in the 1960s.

The Queen (Claire Foy) dances with Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah (Danny Sapani). Photo / Netflix
The Queen (Claire Foy) dances with Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah (Danny Sapani). Photo / Netflix

It is even claimed in the show that the Queen's visit to Ghana in November 1961, regarded as a diplomatic triumph at a time when the country's president was toying with leaving the Commonwealth, was inspired by her wish to show Mrs Kennedy that she was not "unintelligent and unremarkable".

The series also follows the courtship of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, portraying him as a louche character who carries on bisexual affairs behind her back.