ROYAL STYLE – LEE RADZIWILL

ROYAL STYLE – LEE RADZIWILL

ROYAL STYLE – LEE RADZIWILL

When I was married, I didn’t work. When I had my children, I didn’t work. But before that, I’d work for Diana Vreeland at ‘Harper’s Bazaar.’ LEE RADZIWILL

She had fallen in love with the shipping magnate and despite his involvement with opera singer Maria Callas while still married to his first wife, Tina, Lee hoped she would be his next wife.

But once again, Jackie eclipsed her – and married Onassis.


Lee Radziwill, who parlayed her cachet as the younger sister of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis into a varied career as a fashion tastemaker, interior decorator, actress, princess and grande dame of cafe society on two continents, died Feb. 15 in New York. She was 85.

Brought up amid great wealth in the Bouvier and Auchincloss families, Ms. Radziwill was raised with her sister in mansions along the East Coast.

Caroline Lee Bouvier + her mother, Mrs John V Bouvier III, and her sister, Jacqueline Bouvier walk along a brick sidewalk while attending the Krech-Jackson wedding in East Hampton,
With her sister Jacqueline at a debutante ball in 1951. Cecil Beaton/Vogue/Condé Nast

Her most enduring influence was as a queen of style. Even before her sister married John F. Kennedy and became first lady in 1961, the fashion press began taking note of Ms. Radziwill’s chic looks that often featured clean lines, oversize sunglasses and free-flowing hair. Vogue magazine credited her with helping U.S. fashion transition from the stodgy elegance of the 1950s to a more relaxed and confident style.

She was his second wife and became Princess Lee Radziwill in 1959, the title of Prince that Radziwill officially had to give up when he became a British citizen. But they both managed to cling to their titles.

Upon her marriage to Stanislaus Radziwill she became Her Serene Highness Princess Lee Radziwiłł. They had two children, Anthony (1959-1999) and Christina. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1974. On September 23, 1988, Radziwiłł became the second wife of American film director and choreographer Herbert Ross.

Preparing to attend Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball
Lee Radziwill and Andy Warhol standing on a David Hicks Carpet
Lee Radziwill, Truman Capote, and Jane Howard Walking Arm in Arm While Leaving the Ivanhoe Theater by Pierre Boulat

She worked as an assistant to longtime Harper’s Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland, ran the American fashion pavilion at the 1958 World’s Fair and inspired designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs. After seeing a photograph of Ms. Radziwill walking her dog in the 1960s, designer Michael Kors dubbed a throwback collection, that included balmacaan coats and stovepipe velvet slacks, “the Lee Radziwill look.”

Gossip columnists and books, including Diana DuBois’s 1995 unauthorized biography “In Her Sister’s Shadow: An Intimate Biography of Lee Radziwill,” insisted she was forever jealous of her internationally revered sibling. DuBois even said that Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who married Jacqueline after her first husband was assassinated, was originally Ms. Radziwill’s conquest until the day in 1963 when she invited her sister along to sail on his yacht. #sistersister

with good friend Cecil Beaton
at home with Lee Radziwill
at home with Lee Radziwill
at home with Lee Radziwill
Radziwill said of her Manhattan apartment, “but it’s extremely full. So it’s wonderful to have the contrast [in Paris] of having it totally Zen, totally peaceful. In what other city do you find doves outside your window?” VOGUE

Born to dazzle, they were the most famous sisters in the world, the Bouvier girls—Jacqueline and Caroline Lee. Jackie was studious, dark-haired, athletic, and reserved. Lee—three and a half years younger—was light-haired, chubby, mischievous, adventurous. As young girls, they called each other “Jacks” and “Pekes.”

Mrs. Radziwill, who lived in Manhattan, said in a 2013 interview with The Timesthat being Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ sister had been double-edged.

“In some funny way, I’m lucky that there was so much more interest in my sister,” she said. “At times it was annoying, at times funny. Perhaps the most depressing part was that whatever I did, or tried to do, got disproportionate coverage purely because of Jackie being my sister. But you learn to deal with scrutiny, even the lies, as long as it’s not malicious.”

Rio Hamilton

Rio Hamilton is a business development professional with vast marketing and sales experience.He specializes in brand promotion for the luxury interior design and lifestyle industries. Rio works with companies, individuals and groups on concentrated brand identity and elevation. He has a popular website that chronicles "the who's who" at design and fashion events throughout greater New York.

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