Melania Trump’s mother Amalija dies at age 78: Former first lady pays tribute to ‘strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity’
Former First Lady Melania Trump’s mother, Amalija Knavs, 78, has died after being hospitalized in Miami, Florida, over the holidays.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija,” the 53-year-old former first lady announced Tuesday evening.
‘Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth and dignity. She was completely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson and son-in-law. We will miss her dearly and continue to honor and love her legacy.”
Knavs was a textile mill trader in her native Slovenia when she met husband Viktor. The couple then moved to the US and were by Melania’s side throughout her career from modeling to the East Wing.
Melania was not included in her family’s Christmas photos posted to social media and she skipped a star-studded New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago because she was caring for her mother in a Miami hospital.
At the party, former President Donald Trump confirmed that Melania’s mother was “very ill” and that the situation was “difficult” for their family.
He told an adoring crowd gathered at his Mar-a-Lago estate that Melania was absent as she was currently at her mother’s side in a nearby hospital.
Former First Lady Melania Trump’s mother, Amalija Knavs, 78, has died after being hospitalized in Miami, Florida, over the holidays. She is pictured center with her daughter and Donald Trump in 2018
Throwback: Trump poses with Melania and Barron and his parents-in-law Amalija and Viktor Knavs at Christmas 2008
“Hopefully she will recover,” the former president said at the time after saying he had just gotten off the phone with Melania, who is in a Miami hospital with her sick mother.
“It’s a tough one, a very tough one,” Trump continued, saying Melania is “sending her love” to all the people gathered in Palm Beach, Florida.
“She knows about 95 percent of the people in this room,” he said, prompting cheers from partygoers, according to a video taken by an attendee and posted to X.
According to multiple reports, Knavs was sick in the hospital — and the former first lady was at her mother’s side instead of celebrating the holidays with her family at Mar-a-Lago.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s financier, posted a family photo to her Instagram Story the day after Christmas, showing several members of the Trump family.
Knavs was a textile mill trader in her native Slovenia when she met husband Viktor. The couple then moved to the US and were by Melania’s side throughout her career from modeling to the East Wing. She is pictured with her daughter in 2004
What was immediately noticeable was Melania’s absence from the image.
“Melania has always been very devoted to her entire family,” said a source close to the former first lady told Fox News Digital. “It should come as no surprise that she spent Christmas with her sick mother.”
Guilfoyle’s photo posted to her Instagram Story on Tuesday evening showed much of the Trump crew standing in front of a Christmas tree at the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Melania’s father, Viktor Knavs, 79, was present in the photo.
Don Jr.’s fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle posted to her Instagram Story a Trump family photo (above) with several members of the ex-president’s family at Mar-a-Lago the day after Christmas, including Barron Trump. Far left in the photo: Melania’s father Viktor Knavs
The photo also shows former President Donald Trump; his eldest son Don Jr. and finally Guilfoyle; the youngest Trump child Barron, 17; Tiffany Trump and husband Michael Boulos; and eldest daughter Ivanka with husband Jared Kushner and their three children, Arabella, 12, Joseph, 10, and Theodore, seven.
The tallest of the bunch is Barron, who is several inches taller than his father, who is 6 feet tall.
Reports this month indicate that Melania, 53, will increase her public appearances in support of her husband’s re-election bid.
It comes after the former first lady, herself an immigrant, appeared at the National Archives on December 15 for remarks at a naturalization ceremony. She also joined the other first ladies at Rosalynn Carter’s funeral last month — even though her husband was not present with the other presidents.
In addition to Melania, Eric Trump and wife Lara were also not present in the group photo in front of the Mar-a-Lago Christmas tree that was posted on Tuesday.
Guilfoyle also posted a few images to her Instagram grid with her fiancé Don Jr. and the ex-president for the festive decorations at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence.
Melania Trump made a rare public speech before a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, DC on December 15. Her public appearances are expected to increase as her husband runs for another term
Melania and Donald Trump arrive for Christmas Eve dinner with the former first lady’s parents Viktor Knavs and Amalija Knavs in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 24, 2019
Although they didn’t spend Christmas Day together, half-sisters Ivanka and Tiffany Trump joined the family celebration on December 25.
The two also showed their festive spirit in cheerful posts shared on their respective social media accounts.
Marla Maples, 60, who was married to Trump from 1993 to 1999, posted a photo of her and her daughter, Tiffany, 30, posing in front of a Christmas tree.
The mother-daughter duo looked in all black and wore their hair down as they beamed at the camera.
“Merry Christmas from our hearts to yours,” Marla wrote on the post. “Love, Marla and Tiffany.”
Meanwhile, Ivanka shared some festive snaps on social media, posting a Christmas photo, as well as some throwback photos.
Former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle also posted an image to her Instagram with fiancé Don Jr. on Tuesday, December 26. and former President Donald Trump with Mar-a-Lago Christmas decorations in the background
Ivanka Trump, 42, husband Jared Kushner, 42, and their three children – Arabella, 12, Joseph, 10, and Theodore, seven – were pictured with former President Trump on December 26
Sharing two photos to her Instagram Story, the second-eldest child of Donald’s first wife Ivana and the president showed her smiling family celebrating the holidays.
In one photo Ivanka, husband Jared Kushner, both 43, and their three children – Arabella, 12; Joseph, 10; and Theodore, 7 – all posed with the former first daughter’s maternal grandmother as they celebrated Christmas lunch.
Ivanka also uploaded a photo of her family later in the evening, standing in front of an extravagant Christmas tree with her father the day after Christmas.
The family dressed up for the celebration, with the mum-of-three simply adding a Merry Christmas gif to her Instagram Story.
Ivanka, who converted to Judaism because of husband Jared, posted on the first night of Hanukkah a call for people to “bring light to the world” amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.