A new book by a respected Vanity Fair editor alleges that a battle royal between key members of the Kennedy family to take over from stricken Senator Edward Kennedy is already under way. 

The book "Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died” by Edward Klein is excerpted in the June issue of Vanity Fair where Klein is a contributing editor. 

It alleges that Caroline Kennedy, Vicki Kennedy, Ted’s wife and Joe Kennedy, former Congressman and son of Robert Kennedy are clashing over who will take Senator Kennedy’s seat and who will head up the family. 

The book quotes a friend of Joe’s as saying he has “long resented Caroline whom he views as haughty.” It claims Joe is suspicious and envious of the way Ted fawns over Caroline and he “loathes” Victoria’s control over Ted. 

"Joe led the campaign against Vicki, openly mocking her and generally acting as though she was little more than a servant,” the book claims. Vickie, who comes from a New Orleans political family, is also said to be interested in succeeding Ted if he steps down as senator. 

The book also claims that it was Caroline’s own children who got her to pull out of the New York senate race because they felt she was under too much stress after declaring her interest. It quotes her daughter Rose as saying “Mom, you are above this.” 

Meanwhile New York Post columnist Cindy Adams has claimed that Caroline is eyeing up Ted’s seat if her falls uncle falls victim to the brain cancer. 

Adams says that Kennedy would qualify for a seat in Massachusetts even though she lives in New York. “The eureka factor is that Caroline has a Martha’s Vineyard residence," Adams says.