This morning I’d like to share with you some charming photographs of Jackie Kennedy and her sister, Lee Radziwill, touring India and Pakistan in 1962. Jackie’s wardrobe was a focal point as she sought to choose colors and fabrics that would compliment her host countries. It is estimated she wore 22 outfits on the trip—one day in New Delhi she changed five times! There were, of course, underlying political motives to the visit (America was wary of Soviet interest in India as the cold war waged), but the ladies would have us believe their trip was pure pleasure. Everywhere they went the crowds chanted “Hail Jackie!” and referred to her as the “Queen of America.” It was written she created “a visual metaphor for the youthful new face of America: one that was cultured, sophisticated, and stylish.” Stylish indeed! Now who wants to go to India with me?
Above, Jackie at the Taj Majal. She visited twice, once during the day and later by moonlight.
Jackie and her sister sit atop a female elephant (newly painted for the occasion).
Jackie feeds a baby elephant.
Jackie visits a textile showroom in Banaras donning a sleeveless pink sheath.
Jackie visiting a children’s hospital.
The first lady chatting with Indira Ghandi, the prime minister’s daughter. In 1966 Indira became prime minister herself.
Jackie and Lee with their cameras.
Jackie strolling with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his garden. The Nehru jacket is named for him.
Jackie cheering at a sporting event.
Jackie among crowds in Udaipur.
Jackie walks with the Maharaj of Mewar in a silk frock, gloves and her trademark pearls.
Jackie pets a boisterous camel in Pakistan.
Jackie and Lee atop the camel.
“It’s been a dream” Jackie said of her trip. If you like these images you’ll love the book Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad containing watercolors of Jackie’s travels throughout India, Pakistan, Paris, London and Rome. It’s now out of print, but used copies are fairly easy to find. Hope you’ve enjoyed the photos!
(all images courtesy of Life Magazine)