Melania Trump Delivers Eulogy at Mother’s Funeral

Melania, Donald, and Barron Trump gathered in Palm Beach on Thursday to remember the life of Melania’s mother, Amalija Knavs, who died at the age of 78 earlier this month.

The Trumps were seen entering the Church of Bethesda by the Sea, where the funeral service was held, alongside Viktor Knavs, Melania’s father and the late Amalija’s husband.

Also at the funeral service were two of the former president’s children from previous marriages: Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump, who attended with her husband, Jared Kushner.

In a eulogy delivered Thursday morning, per the Associated Press, the former first lady said of her mother: “In her presence, the world seemed to shimmer with radiance and joy. Our bond was unbreakable.”

Elsewhere in the speech, Melania, 53, called her mother a “ray of light in the darkest days,” and spoke about their effortless conversations. Amalija had been living at the Trumps’ private Mar-a-Lago resort since the couple left the White House in 2021.

“Rest in peace my beloved mother,” Melania closed her remarks. The AP reports that Melania touched her fingers to her lips and placed them on Amalija’s casket after ending the eulogy.

Melania, Donald, and Barron Trump, along with Viktor Knavs, attend the funeral of Amalija Knavs. GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty

The former first lady announced her mother’s death in a statement shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing: “It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija.”

“Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity. She was entirely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson, and son-in-law. We will miss her beyond measure and continue to honor and love her legacy,” the statement continued.

Melania’s parents forged a close relationship with her and her 17-year-old son, Barron.

“[Amalija] has an excellent relationship with Melania and with Barron,” a source close to the family previously told PEOPLE. “They love her. She is unselfish and takes care of the family. Melania has always been super good with her mom as well as Barron.”

The source added that Barron, in particular, had grown close to Amalija. “There have been times when Barron has been with his grandparents more than with Melania, and a lot more than with Donald.”

Melania’s love for fashion — and her modeling career — stemmed in part from her mother, who was a longtime patternmaker at a children’s clothing factory in Melania’s hometown of Sevnica, Slovenia.

A 2019 book by Betty Boyd Caroli claims that Amalija is the one who “laid the foundation” for Melania’s interest in personal beauty — and signed Melania up for her first fashion show.

“[Amalija’s] neighbors observed that she paid considerable attention to her own appearance, chose her outfits carefully, and wore high heels when others sought the comfort of flats,” Caroli wrote in First Ladies. “When [her textile company] enlisted young girls as informal models for their latest children’s fashions, Amalija arranged for Melanija to walk the runway.”

About a decade later, at 16, Melania had more properly begun her modeling career, which eventually landed her in New York City.

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