Melania set for Europe – will be with president from NATO to Putin 

Melania set for Europe – will be with President Trump every step of the way as he attends NATO meeting, stops in London and meets with Putin

  • The first lady will join the president next week on his four-country swing, her office confirms to the
  • They are set to meet with Queen Elizabeth in London
  • Protestors could likely greet them at several stops along the way
  • No agenda released yet but the first lady has visited children’s hospitals on several of her past foreign trips 

Melania Trump will be with President Donald Trump every step of the way when he takes off for Europe next week – her first overseas trip since her kidney procedure and her first foreign travel this year.

The first lady will join the president at his NATO meeting in Brussels, his stops in London and Scotland, and be in Finland for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, her office confirms to the

They leave on Tuesday, July 10.  

Melania Trump poses for a selfie as she visits the Queen Fabiola children’s hospital on May 25, 2017, in Brussels

First Lady Melania Trump poses for a selfie with a young patient during a visit to the Pediatric Hospital Bambin Gesù, on May 24, 2017 in Rome.

Russian President Vladimir Putin  talks to the first lady Melania Trump as they attend a state banquet in the Elbphilarmonie concert Hall on the first day of the G20 economic summit on July 7, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany

President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will be sitting the seven-day journey out. The White House has not said whether the president will be accompanied to Europe by son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Protests are likely to greet the first couple on all or part of the trip, thanks to European unhappiness with the American president’s trade policies.

And a potentially testy North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting is expected in Brussels, after the president’s latest indication that he will push member nations to ramp up their defense spending contributions.

London could be a bright spot for the first lady to shine.

A meeting with Queen Elizabeth is on the agenda, the BBC reports, either at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle, where the first lady’s wardrobe choice is sure to be closely watched as will be her interactions with the queen.

In fact, fashionistas will be sure to pay close attention to what Melania Trump wears on every leg of the journey. 

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On a previous European trip – last July’s journey to France – the first lady seemed to pay homage to the colors of France and the United States as she donned outfits from European designers in variation on red, white and blue.

Her time in Asia in November was noted for the big, puffy sleeves on her coats and the glamorous, embroidered gowns she wore for formal dinners. 

No agenda has been released yet for the Melania Trump’s time aboard next week but on previous overseas trips she has focused on children, her main area of interest. She announced her ‘Be Best’ campaign, centered on kids, in May.

Last November, in Japan, she and First Lady Akie Abe visited a local school where they learned to write in calligraphy. She also met with school children at the Beijing Zoo in China and took a private tour of the Great Wall.

Melania Trump, wife of U.S. President Donald Trump and Akie Abe , wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pose for photographs with school children during their visit to Kyobashi Tsukiji Elementary School on November 6, 2017 in Tokyo

Melania Trump meets with sick children during a visit to the Pediatric Hospital Bambin Gesù, on May 24, 2017 in Rome

But her focus tends to be on children’s hospitals when she travels aboard, having spent time with sick children on five of her last foreign trips. 

When she was in Brussels last May for the NATO meeting, she stopped by the Queen Fabiolo Children’s Hospital, where she spent time doing arts and crafts, posing for selfies, and giving lots of hugs. She also brought gifts for the children, including Dr. Seuss books and souvenirs from the White House. 

In Italy, the first lady charmed children she visited at the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome when she spoke to them in Italian. She also visited the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris.

And she visited Hadassah Medical Organization, a leading Israeli hospital that is also known as a center of coexistence between Arabs and Jews, when she joined the president in the Middle East last May.

Next week’s journey marks the first overseas travel for Melania Trump since her kidney procedure on May 14.

Melania Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit last year

Melania Trump visits the Pediatric Hospital Bambin Gesu in the Vatican last May

She did not join the president on his two earlier overseas travels – the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Canada nor his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

She wasn’t allowed to fly, the president told reporters.  

‘Can’t fly for one month, the doctors say,’ Trump said. ‘She had a big operation. That was close to a four-hour operation.’ 

The couple’s four-country swing is certain to feature a packed agenda. 

The meeting with NATO comes at a time the transatlantic relationship at a low point.

The London visit was tacked on to this trip after the president cancelled February plans to attend the opening of the new American Embassy.

He tweeted that he was unhappy with the cost of the new building. 

‘Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!’ he wrote in January. 

During his time in London next week, the president will also meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May although it’s unknown if the first lady will join him.

The trip to London is not an official state visit with all the pomp and circumstance that comes with such a designation but, instead, a working visit. So there will be no formal state dinner, no ceremonial welcome, and no carriage ride to Buckingham Palace.

After London, the first couple will head to Scotland, where Trump’s mother was born and the president is expected to visit at least one of his golf courses. The last time he was in Scotland was as a presidential candidate.

President Donald Trump salutes as First Lady Melania looks on prior to departing from US Yokota Air Base in Tokyo on November 7, 2017

Melania Trump speaks with children as she visits Necker Hospital for children on July 13, 2017 in Paris

Finally they’ll head to Helsinki for the president’s sit-down with Putin.

Melania Trump has had one-on-one time with Putin before. During a G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, last year she and Emanuela Mauro, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s wife, sat on either side of the Russian president. 

She also ran interference with the president and Putin when the White House dispatched her to interrupt a Trump and Putin meeting that was running overtime.

Their scheduled 30 minute sit-down went on for two hours and 16 minutes.

‘Several times, I had to remind the president, people were sticking their heads in the door, and I think they even sent in the First Lady at one point to see if she could get us out of there, and that didn’t work either. We went another hour after she came in to see us, so clearly she failed,’ then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the meeting. 

Melania Trump has not accompanied her husband on a foreign trip this year – until now. 

She backed out of Trump’s winter blitz of Davos, Switzerland, after ‘scheduling and logistical issues’ prevented her from joining him, according to the first lady’s office. 

The abrupt cancellation came days after The Wall Street Journal’s revelation that President Trump’s personal attorney paid porn actress Stormy Daniels to stay silent about an affair she claims she had more than a decade ago with the former real estate mogul. The first lady instead made an unannounced visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, then jetted off to Florida for a spa day that cost taxpayers at least $64,400. 

Melania Trump had accompanied her husband on earlier swings through Europe and the Middle East and on a long trip in November to Asia. 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, US First Lady Melania Trump, Argentinia’s President Mauricio Macri, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a G20 banquet in Hamburg last July

Melania Trump attends a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017

In Tel Aviv, on her first trip abroad in her new role as America’s most visible matron, it was also the first lady’s outfits that did the talking – aside from an ill-timed hand slap as her husband were walking.

The slap heard round the world, as it has since been called, took place on a tarmac in full view of reporters when the first couple arrived in Israel in May of last year.

In Israel, Melania Trump did not cover her hair when she traveled to the Western wall, leading to some criticism during the second stop of the five-nation excursion.

She and step-daughter Ivanka also grabbed headlines when they toed the line in Saudi Arabia on the same trip. They bucked the local custom and declined to wear headscarves.

At the Vatican in Rome, however, both women covered their hair with veils in keeping with protocol on how they should present themselves in the company of the Pope.

Ivanka Trump, he president’s daughter, who serves as an unpaid adviser to her father at the White House, will not be going to Europe next week.

She’ll attend a hearing on Capitol Hill hearing on June 11, instead, a White House official said.

‘Ivanka will be staying in Washington DC for the Paid Family Leave hearing – it’s a top priority for her. She will be taking meetings and focused on that next week,’ Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told


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