When Nancy Reagan was First Lady, I studied every photo and news clip of her that I saw, as I do with all First Ladies. What are these women feeling, being married to the most powerful man in the world? Are they happy in their roles? Are they jealous of their husbands? Are they thinking about what dress they’re wearing at dinner next week with the President of Spain?
Nancy’s photos always said the exact same thing to me: “Just look at Ronnie,” I’d imagine her thinking. “I’m the luckiest woman in the world. Now, let’s see, what am I going to wear tonight at the State Dinner?”
No question about it: Nancy was head over heels in love with her man. And he was her man. She made sure everyone around him knew that, from the mightiest to the meanest, the mildest to the meekest. She adored him, shielded him, advised him (consulting an astrologer about when Ronnie should attend meetings, for example) and comforted him (especially when he was shot.)
Ronnie returned the feelings. Read To Nancy: The Reagan Love Letters for proof. It’s a fascinating account of a love affair that never faded.
I sense that Nancy has been thinking about seeing Ronnie again, ever since he died. (My mother did the same thing.) In the meantime, I hope she has a wonderful birthday.