An American socialite, successful PR executive and interior designer, Lee Radziwill was an icon of the 1960s. The sister of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis had a legendary life: she married into European royalty, partied with Truman Capote and Andy Warhol, and at one time had an affair with her sister's future husband Aristotle Onassis.
Above all though, Radziwill was known as an arbiter of taste. New York, Paris and London society applauded her for her style and beauty, while designers Hamilton South, Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs used her as their muse.
Radziwill was introduced to society after dropping out of Sarah Lawrence University in 1950. She worked as Diana Vreeland’s assistant in Harper’s Bazaar in New York and subsequently married her childhood sweetheart, Michael Temple Canfield, the alleged son of the Duke of Kent. Although the pair were considered a powerful societal match, the relationship ended after Radizwell began a relationship with her future spouse, aristocrat Prince Stanislaw ‘Stas Radziwill’.
The couple soon set up a house in London, close to Buckingham Palace and regularly entertained President JF Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy when they visited England.
‘We had this divine house on Buckingham Place behind the Palace and the prettiest country place in Oxfordshire,’ Lee later told T Magazine. ‘Mongiardio decorated. It was enchanting.’
Radziwill was referring to the work of Italian decorator and set designer Renzo Mongiardino, who styled the house in the 1960s and 70s in what Architectural Digest described as an ‘Ottoman-meets-Moghul atmosphere’. Cecil Beaton, who later photographed the house for Vogue, wrote that it was ‘a blaze of Turquerie.’
Today, this impressive freehold family house is on the market with Dexters for £8,750,000. Recently redecorated with bright and modern finishes, the 5,613 sq. ft property offers eight bedrooms, five bathrooms and three reception rooms over five storeys.
On the lower ground floor, there’s a spacious family room and an open plan kitchen and dining room with French doors that lead out onto a secluded patio garden. Upstairs, the ground floor offers two reception rooms and a private terrace, whilst the first floor is dedicated to the principal suite. There are six further bedrooms and three further bathrooms on the second and third floors, as well as a decked roof terrace accessed through a glass sliding roof panel.
Harry Laflin, Manager of Dexters Westminster says, ‘this property is not only grand and historic but conveniently located close to the green open spaces of St. James’s and Green Park. On the doorstep of Mayfair, and close to Victoria, it would make a glamorous family home.'