Lee Radziwill, socialite

Jacqueline Kennedy is followed by her sister, Lee Radziwill, in London in 1961.
Jacqueline Kennedy is followed by her sister, Lee Radziwill, in London in 1961.
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Lee Radziwill, who has died at 85, was a socialite and the younger sister of the former US first lady, Jackie Kennedy,

She shared her older sister’s affinity for fashion and globe-trotting, as well as her dark, wide-set eyes and high cheekbones.

They were confidantes as young women, and Ms Radziwill was a frequent guest at the White House during President John F Kennedy’s administration.

She was with the president when he made a trip to London in 1961 and Mr Kennedy was godfather to Ms Radziwill’s daughter, Anna Christina.

The Kennedys and Radziwills spent Christmases together in Palm Beach, Florida, and the sisters travelled to India and Pakistan.

Ms Radziwill helped select the wardrobe for what became one of Jackie’s signature moments – her trip to Paris with her husband in 1961.

But tensions emerged after Mr Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Ms Radziwill had worried that her brother-in-law’s ascent would overshadow her and told Gloria Steinem for a McCall’s magazine interview that her life during the JFK years was “empty, cold, and not true”.

In 1968, Jackie married the Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis, whom Ms Radziwill had once thought of marrying, only to have her sister urge her not to.

Ms Radziwill’s life apart from her sister was eventful enough. She married a prince, Stanislas Radziwill of Poland, and had two children, Anthony and Anna Christina.

There were friendships with Ms Steinem, Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol and Truman Capote, whom she joined for a 1972 Rolling Stones tour.

“I can see how people found him (Mick Jagger) sexy,” she told interviewer Sofia Coppola for a 2013 New York Times story. “But I found him a little repulsive.”

It seemed at times that tragedy followed tragedy. Less than a month after the death of her beloved nephew, John F Kennedy Jr, on July 16 1999, her own son died of cancer, at age 40.

Her 10-year marriage to Herbert Ross, her third husband, ended that year, as well. The choreographer and award-winning director of Funny Girl and Steel Magnolias died in 2001.

Her first marriage was to Michael Canfield in 1953. The marriage ended in divorce and was later annulled. Mr Canfield died in 1969.

She married Mr Radziwill, a descendent of Polish royalty who became an English subject, in 1959. They divorced in 1974 and he died nearly two years later.