Jacqueline, the ex-wife of the American president, and Lee, married to a Polish prince, had glamorous looks and exquisite taste, attracting the public's attention and even the attention of the same men. And this attention the sisters had to share.
In 1962, Truman Capote met Lee Radziwill for lunch at a luxurious Manhattan restaurant. The writer had a unique place in New York society: witty and cheerful, he was always ready to pick up on everything that was going on around him. As Lee had had no such conversations with Truman up to this point, and she hardly suspected anything.
In 1959, Lee married Polish Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, who had left his homeland long ago. Alas, Lee had apparently forgotten Capote's reputation as a great gossip. She revealed to him the most painful secret of her life: she was truly jealous of Jackie. It seemed to be not just envy for one of the world's most well-known women and a recognized style icon, but genuine jealousy. The writer was amazed that the woman who seemed to have everything one might want, including money, beauty, and taste, was so insecure. Jackie had surpassed Lee to such an extent that, in her younger sister's opinion, she had simply ruined her life.
Prince Stas is said to have been an aging man with his own quirks, who had little interest in his wife. In his wife's absence, he found solace in his own affairs and alcohol.
Lee and Stanislaw were separated by a serious age gap of nineteen years. They had two children together: son Anthony, and daughter Anna Christina, also called Tina, who was born three months prematurely in 1960. Stas lost his title when he fled Poland, but as Lee lived in New York and Washington, D.C., she was called Princess Radziwill, or Princess Lee.
The title was overshadowed, however, by the fact that the article about Lee was written only because her brother-in-law was president and her sister was first lady.
While married to the Polish prince, Lee found a lover, Aristotle Onassis. A man of great energy, spontaneity, and a huge fortune aroused the interest of the "princess" by beautifully courting her.
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There was no open conflict between the sisters, and when Jackie was getting over the death of her newborn son Patrick, who died in August 1963, sincerely wishing to support her, Lee asked Aristotle to invite the first lady to join them on the Christina, Aristotle's yacht. But as soon as Jackie boarded, her younger sister realized she had made a terrible mistake. The billionaire gazed at the first lady in admiration, and Princess Radziwill felt that her worst nightmare had just come true. Onassis made no secret of his feelings, and at the end of the trip gave the sisters talking gifts: Jacqueline received an exquisite necklace with diamonds and rubies, and Lee received three tasteless bracelets, which she never wore. Still, that didn't stop the younger sister from comforting the older one when she suddenly became a widow a month later.
After John Kennedy's assassination, the widow was desperate. She desperately sought protection for herself and her children and remembered her sister's admirer who had been so impressed by her. Aristotle Onassis assessed the situation and proposed to Jacqueline and she accepted him.
As much as poor Lee tried to get rid of her obsession, she seemed forever attached to her sister. Jackie, on the other hand, didn't seem to notice her. When 64-year-old Jacqueline died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in May 1994, she, to everyone's surprise, left nothing to her little sister. Not even a small trinket. This was considered to speak volumes of what Jackie really thought of Lee.
Photos: Getty Images
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