Tuesday, March 13, 2012
In my last post, I offered you a glimpse into the life of America's favorite First Lady, Jackie Kennedy.
Now, I'm going to introduce you to her fabulous younger sister, Lee Radziwill.
Lee was a fashion icon in her own right. She was also a princess. But no matter what she did, or what she wore, she always got stuck in her sister's shadow.
Lee was four years younger than her beautiful sister. They both attended boarding school and upon graduation, the girls grew extremely close. They two young debutantes set off to Europe together, looking for romance and adventure.
Both girls married extremely young. Jackie, of course, fell in love with a handsome young senator from Massachusetts. Lee, however, married a publishing heir when she was 20. Her relationship was doomed from the start and ended in annulment.
Years later, Lee would confess that she mostly married her first husband in order to get her own apartment and be more independent. Single girls back then didn't leave home before marriage.
Six years later, the gorgeous American fell in love with the older, charming Stanislaw Radziwill, a Polish prince. He quickly divorced his wife and married Lee.
The couple had two children, a boy and a girl, who were similar in age to Jackie Kennedy's kids. The four children would go on to be life-long best friends, just like their mothers.
The couple moved to England, where they had two homes: a London townhouse and a country manor. Both homes were visited frequently by Jackie Kennedy, who often sought refuge from a relentless flood of journalists, desperate to catch a glimpse of America's Sweetheart.
While Jackie's husband was president, Lee accompanied her sister on trips all over the world. It was almost like their girlhood adventures! Lee was also a very welcome guest to the White House, where she dazzled politicians with her beauty and intelligence.
Jackie and Lee were like the Kate and Pippa of their day, charming the media, and the world, with their impressive style and exciting lives.
In 1974, however, Lee's marriage came to a screeching halt. She divorced the prince and focused on being a jet-setting socialite. Her close friends included Andy Warhol and Truman Capote.
In the mid-1970s, Lee also became famous for her design skills. Her homes were often featured in magazines. Lee's style became so sought after, she became an interior designer herself, decorating the mansions and penthouses of her most wealthiest friends around the world.
Four years after her divorce from the prince, Lee fell in love with Newton Cope, a hotel magnate. But five minutes before their wedding ceremony, both of them got cold feet and took off, leaving bewildered guests alone, sipping on champagne and wondering what was going on.
Throughout her life, Lee insisted she was never jealous of her famous, more revered older sister.
But rumors and observations took their course. Gossip columns chugged out stories spilling that Lee had been having a steamy affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and was secretly devastated when he married her sister.
Also, after a nasty fight with her best friend, Truman Capote, the flamboyantly gay author went on several talk shows, revealing that Lee had always been bitter of how much the world was obsessed with Jackie.
Despite the negative press, Lee held her head high. She married a film director in 1988. She even became the public relations specialist for her dear friend, Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion designer.
Today, she is still beautiful and stylish. The 79-year-old is often seen at the hottest fashion shows around the world and she is the subject of many fashion blogs. She even gives media interviews now, providing the world a first-hand account of her sister, Jackie.
What do you think of Lee Radziwill?