Melania Trump made her second public appearance in a week on Wednesday night, when she enjoyed dinner with her husband Donald at a private roped-off table at Mar-a-Lago.
The dinner outing marks only the seventh occasion that the 50-year-old former First Lady has been seen out and about since the Trumps left the White House in January of this year – after which Melania has seemingly tried to maintain a much more private lifestyle.
Images taken by guests at the Palm Beach resort and shared on social media show Melania and Donald, 74, sitting side-by-side at a round table outdoors at one of Mar-a-Lago’s restaurants, with the mother-of-one looking chic in an elegant sleeveless dress.
Meanwhile her husband wore a navy suit, white button-up shirt, and a striped tie.
Although the couple chose to dine at a public restaurant alongside other guests, they appear to have gone to great lengths to ensure that they were not bothered during their meal.
In the photos, red velvet security ropes are seen separating their table from others at the venue, while one guest who snapped images of the couple revealed that ‘security was tight’ throughout the evening.
The public dinner comes just days after Melania stepped out at a glittering fundraiser held at the Florida club – where she and former President Trump have been living since leaving Washington, D.C. in January.
Wearing a figure-hugging $1,900 white dress by Giambattista Valli, Melania looked elegant and relaxed as she arrived at a dinner hosted by Trump for Republican National Committee donors on Saturday night.
In social media footage, Melania was seen walking behind Trump while they were welcomed with applause upon entering the event, and she then stood beside her husband as they both smiled and greeted guests.
The former model wore her highlighted brown hair in loose waves that fell around her shoulders and completed her look with silver jewelry and low white heels.
According to the Washington Post, former President Donald Trump spoke for around an hour at the party fundraiser, during which time he told donors that the COVID-19 vaccine should be named after him, referred to the November election in which Joe Biden won as ‘bulls**t’, and said he wished former Vice President Mike Pence had possessed the ‘courage’ to send the certification of the Electoral College votes back to state legislatures.
The former President then went on to repeat a line from 2015 calling immigrants crossing the border illegally violent criminals, this time saying ‘they’re coming in from the Middle East’, the Post reported.
Trump also hit out at Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the former Republican Senate Majority Leader who’s he has since fallen out with after pinning blame on him for the January Capitol riots.
On Friday, Melania made a joint statement with Donald Trump on her Twitter account to express their condolences to Queen Elizabeth following the passing of Prince Philip at the age of 99.
She wrote: ‘President Trump and I extend our deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family, and the people of Great Britain as the world mourns the loss of Prince Philip.’
However for the most part, Melania appears to have been relishing a much more private lifestyle since leaving the White House at the start of the year, and prior to this week, she had made just five very brief public appearances in the three months that she has been living in Florida with her husband and their 15-year-old son, Barron.
The Trumps made a bold statement in January when they skipped President Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. and instead boarded Air Force One and flew to their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where Melania stepped off the plane in a printed Gucci dress.
At the time, the 50-year-old offered a clear hint that she was planning to leave the spotlight behind once and for all when she famously refused to stop and pose for the waiting photographers upon their arrival — instead stalking away from them without so much as a wave while her husband, former President Donald Trump, smiled for pictures.
Since then, Trump has been pictured on multiple occasions; he has been seen playing golf, greeting crowds of supporters at Mar-a-Lago, and even crashing an engagement shoot at the private club.
However, Melania has remained largely under the radar since moving to Florida full-time with her husband and their 15-year-old son, Barron, taking great care to stay out of the public eye.
While other members of the family have been seen strolling through the grounds of the sprawling resort, the mother-of-one has yet to be spotted stepping outside of the walls of Mar-a-Lago.
With the exception of a handful of accidental appearances in social media videos, the former First Lady has all but disappeared from the public eye since January — prompting the question: What exactly has she been doing at Mar-a-Lago all this time?
Melania looked like a woman in mourning when she departed the White House for the last time wearing a somber black dress and a black Chanel jacket. She completed the look with dark sunglasses, black Christian Louboutin heels, and a $70,000 Hermes Birkin bag.
She held hands with her husband as they walked side by side across the White House lawn before boarding Marine One on their way to Air Force Base Andrews in Maryland, where they both addressed a crowd of fans.
‘Being your First Lady was my greatest honor,’ she said after her husband welcomed her on stage. ‘Thank you for your love and support. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all, God bless your families and God bless this beautiful nation.’
After Trump’s final speech as commander-in-chief, they boarded Air Force One, where Melania staged an outfit change, swapping her all-black look for a colorful $3,700 Gucci dress. She also removed her $795 Christian Louboutin heels, opting for$625 ballerina flats by Roger Vivier.
Her outfit seemed to speak volumes about her desire to throw off the stress of life in the White House — with many noting that she appeared ready for a vacation. It also indicated that she knew she’d be photographed upon landing; however, she didn’t seem to have any time or patience for the photographers.
Video footage of their highly-anticipated arrival in Florida showed her walking alongside her husband until Trump stopped and turned toward the photographers taking their photo. Melania continued walking at the same pace, sparing a frowning glance at the crowd and cameras but otherwise not acknowledging their presence.
The recording went viral on Twitter, where users pointed out that the mother-of-one appeared to ‘give no f***s’ anymore, with some even speculating that she was moments away from filing for divorce.
The Trumps were seen for the first time since they left the White House when they posed for selfies with fans in the dining room at Mar-a-Lago on Valentine’s Day.
The couple had been last seen together when they arrived in Florida after snubbing Biden’s inauguration the month before.
Melania remained particularly elusive, even stripping her Instagram of all posts except her White House farewell speech.
She shared two posts on Valentine’s Day this year but neither mentioned her husband as rumors about the state of their marriage continued to swirl.
Melania shared pictures of her visits to sick children during her time as First Lady to mark the holiday — but she did not mention her husband of 15 years at all.
Several sources told CNN in February that she was spending much of her time at day spas to pass the time.
‘She goes to the spa, has lunch, goes to the spa (again) and has dinner with Donald on the patio,’ one source told the network.
Another source said: ‘It is not unusual for Trump to spend several hours a day there [at the spa], enjoying the benefits at her disposal, often going twice in a 24-hour period, for massages, nail care, facial treatments or other items on the menu.’
The sources both said that ‘the former First Lady has mentally all but left Washington behind, unlike her husband.’
Melania’s son, Barron, rang in his 15th birthday at Mar-a-Lago, and while it’s unclear exactly how they spent his big day, she made sure to give him a shout-out on social media.
The proud mom tweeted an image of two floating black number balloons marking her son’s age, writing: ‘Happy birthday BWT.’
The initials stand for Barron’s full name: Barron William Trump.
Melania ended the post with three heart emoji to show her love when captioning the otherwise impersonal picture.
Her photo choice and message were nearly identical to the tribute she shared last year for Barron’s 14th birthday.
Melania was seen smiling as she walked into Mar-a-Lago with her husband and son a few weeks ago with their Secret Service detail in tow.
The former model had on an elegant white dress featuring black bands around her waist and the hem of her three-quarter sleeves. She wore her highlighted brown hair in loose waves around her shoulders.
It’s unclear where exactly the family was coming from, but they were welcomed by a throng of admirers at the estate.
— Michael DeLauzon 🇺🇸 🦅 (@MichaelDeLauzon) April 9, 2021
While Secret Service agents cleared the walkway for the family, who was greeted with applause as fans filmed their entrance and took photos.
The couple stopped to say hi to people and shake their hands before carrying on with their business.
Footage of their arrival was later shared on Instagram.
Melania returned to Twitter on April Fools’ Day to mark the start of Military Child Month, which underscores the sacrifices made by military families and their children.
Approximately two million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 2001, and there are currently 1.2 million military children of active-duty members worldwide, according to the American Association of School Administrators.
Melania was once again spotted with her husband and son at Mar-a-Lago, this time wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress.
Video posted to Instagram last Friday showed the Trump family strolling through an outdoor dining area at the club.
‘Mr. President!’ one supporter was heard to shout, as the club members cheered and applauded, some even rising to their feet.
Barron was noticeably absent from Trump’s farewell address on his final day in office, and Melania has been vocal in her protection of him from public scrutiny.
The young teen has been with his parents each time he has been seen at Mar-a-Lago since his father left office.
Melania celebrated Easter last Sunday with a simple, yet heartfelt tweet, writing: ‘Sending Easter blessings to everyone!’
She and her husband were given a rousing round of applause as they attended Easter Sunday service in Florida on the holy holiday.
The couple stood in the front row of the Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens for its morning service.
A member of the congregation filmed as Senior Pastor Todd Mullins led the packed chapel in prayer.
Mullins then introduced Trump, saying: ‘It’s also our privilege, my privilege today to welcome the President [and] Mrs. Trump too.’
The Trumps turned to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd, and Melania raised a hand to wave. Afterwards the couple chatted to Mullins as the Easter service continued with a performance from a live band.
Stunned onlookers seemed delighted to see the former First Couple at the 22,500-square-foot worship center, which has seating for about 1,500 people.
In the photographs and video posted online, none of the attendees wore masks, and the Trumps seemed to mingle freely with other worshippers in the large crowd.
After the service, their motorcade returned to Mar-a-Lago, where Trump spent some quality time with his grandchildren, who enjoyed an Easter egg hunt on the stately gardens with dozens of other kids.
‘I’m not sure they’re working all that hard for it but it’s a good tradition nonetheless and they had fun,’ said Donald Trump Jr., who posted a video of the kids scrambling for treats.
Don Jr. also posted a series of adorable family snaps to Instagram, although his stepmother Melania didn’t appear in any of them.
Melania was spotted recently dining at Mar-a-Lago with her husband in a video shared by Sean Spicer, who previously served as Trump’s White House press secretary.
‘Had a great dinner at Mar-a-Lago last night. President Trump was at the table next to us and sent over his favorites, the lobster and ice cream sundae,’ Spicer captioned the video.
‘Great to catch up with some old friends @danscavino, Michael Caputo. and Marcia Lee Kelly,’ he added. ‘And President Trump got a round of applause when he left the dining room.’
The footage showed the family leaving the dining room as a few patrons stood and clapped for them. Melania looked chic in a sleeveless black dress, and she led the way as they walked out.
Melania has given little indication about what she plans to do moving forward, although a source close to the Trumps revealed in January that she intends to continue running her Be Best initiative from Mar-a-Lago.
The former First Lady’s signature initiative never caught fire like Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move and Laura Bush’s National Book festival did. It consisted of three pillars: children’s health and well-being, online safety and combating the the opioid crisis.
But she didn’t hold regular events promoting her program – which she launched in May 2018 – and updates on it were rare, raising questions as to the exact nature of its accomplishments.
In her farewell address, posted online two days before she left the White House, Melania denounced violence and called on Americans to ‘be best.’
‘Do not lose sight of your integrity and values. Use every opportunity to show consideration for another person, and build good habits into your daily lives,’ she said in the nearly seven-minute video.
‘In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best. To focus on what unites us, to raise above what divides us, to always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself.’
‘Be passionate in everything you do. But always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified,’ she added, nearly two weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol and interrupted the certification of election results.
On February 12, Melania announced that she was opening her own ‘office’, launching a Twitter account under the username the Office of Melania Trump.
‘Mrs. Melania Trump is announcing the opening of The Office of Melania Trump. Please follow this account for news and updates,’ the tweet read.
The following day, Breitbart published a piece in which a spokesperson for the former First Lady said she had been ‘focused on her responsibilities as a mother and settling her family into their new home’, however the statement noted that she has ‘many different ideas’ about what she wants to do in the future.
After CNN published a piece about Melania’s final days as First Lady – claiming that she was ‘relaxing at the spa’ while her husband’s second impeachment trial was taking place – the account hit back, accusing the outlet of publishing ‘false gossip’ while suggesting that Melania wants to withdraw from the spotlight altogether.
‘Mrs. Trump is no longer First Lady,’ the tweet read. ‘She is a private citizen, mother, & wife. Sources in this article are not affiliated w her nor have insight into her thoughts or daily life. CNN’s FLOTUS Correspondent choosing to publish false gossip illustrates the media’s unhealthy obsession.’