David Ormsby-Gore was a diplomat and held a number of government ministerial positions in the Foreign Office. He resigned in 1961, so he could take up the post of British Ambassador to the United States until 1965. The friendship between the families actually dates back to the 1930s, when JFK's father Joseph was US Ambassador to Britain and the collection of letters demonstrates the closeness between the families.
The letters show the story of a relationship that builds between Lord Harlech and Jackie Kennedy over a period of three to four years until 1968.
A deep friendship was formed through grief after the president's assassination in 1963. They then grew even closer when David's wife Sissy died in May 1967. The letters really reveal their deep and growing connection amidst the pain of losing their spouses and Jackie was very sympathetic to David's grief and the tragedy he went through.
After his wife died Jackie wrote him a letter to try and offer him some comfort. She wrote: 'Your last letter was such a cri de coeur of loneliness - I would do anything to take that anguish from you. You want to patch the wounds & match the loose pairs - but you can't because your life won't turn out that way.'
He reportedly proposed a 'secret marriage' in 1968, but she turned him down. She then wrote him a rejection letter while she was on Aristotle Onassis's yacht (who she ended up marrying) explaining why she had chosen not to marry him.
David died in 1985 from injuries sustained in a car crash. Senator Edward Kennedy, Jackie Onassis and other Kennedy family members attended his funeral. In 1995 when Jackie was dying of cancer in her New York apartment, she reportedly spoke of her regret that she did not accept Lord Harlech's proposal.