Former President Carter, 99, honored his late wife, Rosalynn Carter, during a memorial service in Atlanta on Tuesday attended by all living U.S. first ladies and multiple presidents.
Paying Respect to Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter
Former first lady Melania Trump made a rare public appearance Tuesday as an attendee of the tribute service for Rosalynn Carter in Georgia.
The appearance marks Trump stepping into a more traditional former first lady role, as she joined current first lady Jill Biden and former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton to pay tribute to Carter. It is common for sitting and former first ladies to attend the funerals of former first ladies.
The invitation-only service, held at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the campus of Emory University, also features family members and some of Rosalynn’s closest friends, including Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, who were asked to sing a duet of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
It marked the first time a member of the Obama family appeared publicly with a member of the Trump family since former President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
During the service, Melania Trump sat at the end of the aisle in the front row next to Michelle Obama, who had Laura Bush placed on her other side.
Melania’s outfit at the service quickly sparked controversy about whether it was appropriate to wear to a memorial. She was seen wearing a gray coat, with a black dress underneath.
Critics argued she should have opted to not wear the gray coat, instead only wearing black, viewed as the most traditional color of grieving, for the occasion.
Melania Trump has largely remained out of the public eye following her husband’s loss in the 2020 presidential election and the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
Following that election, the former first lady’s few public appearances were limited to a farewell address on January 18, 2021, a Republican Gala hosted by the right-wing LGBT advocacy group Log Cabin Republicans at the couple’s Mar-A-Lago Florida estate in November 2021 and a visit at a U.S. Coast Guard station in Florida in December 2021.
Melania Trump also made a rare Fox News appearance in May 2022, accusing the news media of left-wing bias, and joined her husband for his 2024 presidential campaign launch last November.