Melania Trump has started to appear more first-ladylike as her husband Donald Trump becomes more presidential by completely dominating his rivals in the race for the nation’s highest office. Being a confirmed homebody, she prefers staying cozied up with her nine-year-old son Barron at their luxurious residence in New York City’s Trump Tower to follow her 69-year-old husband’s progress via television.
According to the Washington Post, 45-year-old Melania Trump, who shies away from speaking in public, has been thrust into the 2016 campaign spotlight, as the “unconventional spouse of an unconventional presidential candidate”.
Born in the part of Yugoslavia that is now Slovenia, Melania Trump is described by former elementary schoolmate Mirjana Jelancic as “never wanting to be the center of attention” in their hilly town of Sevnica. Despite her self-effacing nature, Melania Trump is well educated, having studied architecture and design at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and speaks four languages including English, albeit with a heavy accent.
The Washington Post ran a list of first ladies for comparison’s sake and came up with Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, as the only one born abroad. Nancy Reagan was the wife of the only divorced U.S. president, providing a precedent for Melania Trump to follow, her husband being twice-divorced. In terms of the uniquely glamorous Jackie Kennedy, Melania Trump would not fall short.
In a Fox report, Melania revealed to People the type of relationship she has with her husband after ten years of marriage. It was her first mainstream interview since Donald Trump announced his presidential bid this year.
“He is who he is. Even if you give him advice, he will maybe take it in, but then he will do it the way he wants to do it. You cannot change a person. Let them be. Let them be the way they are.”
Formerly Melania Knauss, she came to New York in the mid 1990s, where she worked as a model, saving her money and avoiding the party scene, according to the Washington Post.
However, in 1998, she went to a party at Manhattan nightspot the Kit Kat Klub as a favor to I.D. Modeling Agency founder Paolo Zampolli who had discovered her in the Milan and Paris modelling circuit. With the models, he entertained such celebrities as Donald Trump, newly divorced from his second wife, Marla Maples.
The dynamic between Melania and Donald Trump developed in the following sequence. He asks for her phone number, she declines, he gives her his phone number instead, she calls him days later. They became an item after that.
Melania figured in the press as a hot commodity once it was known that she was Donald Trump’s girlfriend. A Howard Stern interview about the couple’s sex life in 1999 was followed by the January 2000 cover of British GQ magazine featuring a naked, bejewelled Melania lying on fur in Trump’s private jet.
According to Hollywood Life, the two married in 2005 and have one child together. Melania Trump kept herself low key until her husband’s declaration of presidential intention on June 16, 2015.
Melania has been making public appearances by his side since, to meet the demands of protocol. As pre-election maneuvering ramps up among the presidential aspirants and those who would see them in office, she is expected to show up where she is needed to add impetus to the Trump campaign.
When asked in 1999 by the New York Times what her role would be if her husband were to become president, Melania Trump gave the following answer as quoted by Bloomberg.
“I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him.”
[Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images]