Former First Lady Melania Trump spent the past four years in the public eye, but she seems to enjoy living a quieter life, having been seen out with her husband only a handful of times since they vacated the White House earlier this year.
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.
Saying goodbye: Melania Trump has maintained an incredibly low public profile since she and her husband, former President Donald Trump, left the White House on January 20
Ready for a long vacation: The 50-year-old former First Lady last stepped in front of the cameras when she and her husband landed in Florida, for which she wore a bold Gucci dress
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.
A sign? When Melania and Donald left Air Force One, the mother-of-one famously refused to stop for the photographers, instead strutting off while her husband waved and posed
‘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.
February 14: The first time Melania was pictured after leaving the White House was in a social media image taken at Mar-a-Lago on Valentine’s Day
Say cheese! Donald was pictured on the same night with the same woman who posed with Melania – marking the first time they had been pictured at the same event post White House
Back on social media: Melania also posted to her personal Twitter account to mark the romantic day, sharing images of herself when she was First Lady
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.’
March 20: Melania wished her son Barron a happy 15th birthday on Twitter on March 20, sharing an image of black balloons, however she did not make an appearance herself
Together: Both Melania and her son Barron (pictured together in August 2020) have kept very low profiles since Trump left the White House in January
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.
March 28: The next time Melania was seen with her husband and son was in a social media video captured by a guest at Mar-a-Lago
Blink and you miss it: Melania was caught on camera walking through the private resort with her husband and son, with the family facing a great deal of excitement from waiting fans
Greetings: Melania, who looked as though she’d had a haircut, and Donald paused to say hello to well wishers before quickly moving on
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.
April 1: The mother-of-one marked the start of Military Child Month on April 1 with a tweet dedicated to ‘military children and families’
Throughout her time as First Lady, Melania visited numerous military bases and met with parents and their children.
‘This month, we honor our military children & families for their resilience & patriotism. The sacrifices they make at home gives our brave men & women in uniform the support they need to serve our great Nation. #MilitaryChildMonth,’ she tweeted at the start of the month.
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.
April 2: Melania (far left) wore a black off-the-shoulder dress for one of her recent appearances at Mar-a-Lago, when she, Barron (center) and Trump walked past diners at the resort
Standing ovation: Supporters applauded the former President and his family as they strolled past them
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.’
April 4: Melania shared a simple Easter message to her Twitter followers on Easter Sunday
No photos: Melania and Donald celebrated Easter with family at Mar-a-Lago, but while the former President posed for photos with his son Don Jr and his grandkids, his wife did not
Under cover: Donald was pictured in several images shared by his son Don Jr, however Melania was nowhere to be seen in the photos
Where’s Melania? The couple did attend a church service in Florida, where they were given a round of applause by fellow congregation members. They then hosted an egg hunt (pictured)
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.
Most recently, Melania was spotted dining at Mar-a-Lago with her husband on Wednesday 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.
April 7: Melania was last seen walking through a restaurant at Mar-a-Lago with Donald in a video that was shared on Instagram by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer
Breezing by: The former First Lady (seen far right) wore a black sleeveless dress, however she did not pause to speak with anyone
‘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.
Taking a step back: Melania announced that she had set up her own ‘office’ on February 12, although she has yet to reveal what it will be used for
‘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.’