Jackie Kennedy’s sister, Lee Radziwill, never wanted to live a life in the shadow of the former First Lady and she did everything in her power to stand out. Even at the end of her life, she absolutely despised being referred to as simply Jackie’s sister.
But how can you stand out in the lights of fame from someone who was the most recognized woman in the United States? Lee used one weapon: Marriage. She wedded three times in her life. The second time made her a real-life princess.
In 1959, she married Polish Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł. This union earned her the title of Her Serene Highness Princess Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł, but she was mainly known as Princess Radziwell. The couple stayed together for 15 years before they separated in 1974.
Lee was rumored to have quite a character as she created a scandal, making the Hollywood sweetheart Julia Roberts cry.
The seat arrangement
Radziwell’s third marriage was to Oscar-nominated director Herb Ross, which opened the doors for her to all of the hottest movie premieres. One of those was the London premiere of Steel Magnolias with the most royal guests: Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
The scandal took place when Radziwill found her seat at the screening and was not happy with it. The biography The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters, which recounts the story of Jackie and Lee’s lives, writes:
Lee balked at the seating arrangement, which had the film’s principals in the front row with spouses in the second. This was unacceptable for Lee...so she immediately took one of the seats in the front row, between her husband and Prince Charles. Lee had actually stolen Julia Roberts’s assigned place, and the film industry representatives were livid.
When Roberts whispered to Lee that she took her sit, the former princess completely ignored her. What happened in the end? Princess Diana and Prince Charles had to actually move and a “tearful Julia Roberts” was forced to find another seat.
But what kind of sister was Lee? At first, she and Jackie were very close. Radziwill often visited the White House and accompanied Jackie on her trips abroad. After the assassination of President Kennedy, Lee was by her sister’s side, offering her as much support as she could.
However, their relationship ended a few years later. When Jackie married Aristotle Onassis, she didn’t even tell Lee. And when the former First Lady passed away, she left nothing for her sister.
We will never know what happened between them, but perhaps Lee’s famous character played a part in their rival. Unfortunately, Lee Radziwill died on February 15, 2019, in New York City. She was an amazing woman, do you agree?