JFK’s Sister-In-Law, Caroline’s Namesake, Dead At 85

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Lee Bouvier Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, at a State dinner Honoring Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria, hosted by President Gerald Ford on November 12, 1974.

One of the last living links to Camelot, Jackie’s sister Lee Radziwill has died 

By Robert D. McFadden, The New York Times

| Feb 17, 2019

| NEW YORK — Lee Radziwill, the free-spirited former princess who shared the qualities of wealth, social status, and ambition with her older sister, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, died Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 85.

It could not have been easy living in the shadow of one of the world’s most famous women, the wife of President John F. Kennedy, and Mrs. Radziwill was not immune to competitive instincts.

Jackie Kennedy had helped create the mystique of the thousand days of Camelot — a woman who had made her new home a place of elegance and culture.

Mrs. Radziwill, the wife of a Polish émigré nobleman, Prince Stanislas Radziwill, was an international socialite and fashion icon who for years was on lists of the world’s best-dressed women. Like Jackie, she had cultivated passions for painting, music, dance, and poetry.

For years — especially before and during Kennedy’s time as first lady — Mrs. Radziwill had been close to her sister:

  • sharing holidays and family gatherings;
  • attending state functions;
  • hosting the Kennedys at the Radziwill townhouse in London;
  • and, notably, taking a monthlong 1962 vacation with Jackie in Italy, India, and Pakistan.

Cementing family ties, the Kennedys had named their firstborn child Caroline, after Caroline Lee, who had always been known by her middle name. JFK had been godfather to the Radziwills’ daughter, Anna Christina.

It changed dramatically with the president’s assassination in 1963.

Rushing to Washington from her home in London, Mrs. Radziwill brought sensitivity and emotional support.

In the ensuing days, with the nation watching, she was a visible support for the widow, escorting her husband’s body to the Capitol to lie in state, during the funeral at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, and at burial ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery … Read more. 

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