8 things you probably didn’t know about Donald Trump’s wife
Melania Trump had intermittently been a cynosure during Donald Trump election campaigns and addresses, but now the prospective First Lady is as significant for the media as her husband.
But generally she kept a fairly low profile during the Republican’s election campaign. Her brief spell in the spotlight during the Republican National Convention in July was far from smooth, as she faced accusations of copying parts of her speech from Michelle Obama.
Here are some of the lesser-known facts about Ms Trump.
Melania is Donald’s third wife
The former Melania Knauss started dating Donald Trump in 1998, married him in 2005 and gave birth to their son, Barron, the following year. Before Melania, Donald was married for a few years in the 1990s to Marla Maples, a television personality, former beauty queen and mother to their daughter Tiffany Trump.
The couple met while the businessman was still with his first wife, Czechoslovakian Ivana Zelnickova, who he had married in 1977. They have three children – Ivanka, Eric and eldest child Donald Trump Jr, who, at 38, is eight years younger than his stepmother Melania.
Ivana and Donald were leading socialites in New York during the 1980s, but their marriage ended with a very public divorce in 1992.
The Clintons went to her wedding
Bill and Hillary Clinton were among the 350 guests when Melania and Donald tied the knot at the groom’s landmark Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. According to GQ, the bride wore a $100,000 Dior dress with 1,500 crystals, which took a “legendary” 550 hours to make.
Melania speaks five languages
After her husband has become president, Melania is set to become the first first lady to be born in a communist nation and only the second to be born abroad, after Louisa Adams, the English wife of sixth president John Quincy, who served from 1825 to 1829.
She can speak five languages which are Slovenian, English, French, Serbian and German.
Melania was raised away from the glamour of New York high society in a concrete tower block in then Yugoslavia during the rule of Marshal Josip Tito.
She has a secret half-brother
While preparing a profile of the incoming first lady for GQ, reporter Julia Ioffe made a startling discovery – Melania’s father, Victor Knavs, who she describes as traditional and hardworking, fathered a secret son before marrying the model’s mother.
One of the least popular presidential spouse
According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, Melania is the least popular presidential candidate spouse since Hillary Clinton.
A survey on the spouses and running mates of both presidential candidates saw Clinton’s husband, former president Bill, named most popular, with more than half of respondents having a positive opinion of him.
“Melania Trump’s popularity is lower than nearly any other recent candidate’s spouse during an election year,” the National Post says.
While her husband’s acceptance speech was being analysed by media watchers around the world, Melania’s fashion choices were being subjected to a similar level of examination – the kind of scrutiny she can surely come to expect in the years ahead.
The Slovene-American former model “looked dazzling as she took her first steps as the next First Lady of the White House”, said the Daily Express.
Parenting plans at White House
While Donald met Barack Obama to discuss the smooth transition of presidential power in the White House following the election, Michelle Obama showed her successor around the building that will be home from January.
Michelle apparently gave Melania a tour of her new living quarters and the two women discussed “the unique demands of raising a family in the White House”.
Melania also firm on Trump’s immigration stance
Although it’s not surprising for a candidate’s wife to back her husband’s policies, some were taken aback by Melania’s enthusiasm for the Republican’s tough rhetoric on migrants, having immigrated to the US herself.
“I follow the law,” she told an MSNBC interviewer. “I never thought to stay here without papers.”