All First Ladies at Carter Memorial Ceremony: Melania Trump is the only one not wearing black

The memorial ceremony for the late Rosalynn Carter brought together the first ladies. Melania Trump really wanted to stand out.

All living former first ladies as well as Jill Biden (81) gathered for the memorial service of Rosalynn Carter (1927-2023), who died around a week ago.

Both the incumbent First Lady Biden and her predecessors Hillary Clinton (76), Michelle Obama (59), Laura Bush (77) and Melania Trump (53) were present at the ceremony at the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta. It was the first time since the funeral of George HW Bush (1924-2018) that all living first ladies were gathered in one place.

Melania Trump’s visit to the funeral service in particular is classified as an event: Since moving out of the White House in January 2021, she has avoided almost all major appointments in public – even those at which her husband Donald Trump (77) will appear in court had to. Melania Trump was also not present at Joe Biden’s (81) inauguration on January 20, 2021. The big exception came in November 2022, when Trump announced that he would run for president again.

Melania Trump is the only one not wearing black

And Melania Trump made sure she stood out among the ranks of current and former first ladies. Donald Trump’s wife clearly stood out with her choice of clothing: While all the other former first ladies and Jill Biden wore exclusively black, Trump was the only one to appear in a gray tweed coat from Dior, with a thin, tightly laced belt and a full skirt underneath . The New York Times interprets the choice of clothing as “a symbol, perhaps a sign, of Mrs. Trump’s historical ambivalence toward the role of first lady and her reluctance to live up to the expectations that come with it.”

Rosalynn Carter died on Sunday afternoon at the age of 96. She was married to Jimmy Carter, 99, the 39th President of the United States, for 77 years and redefined the role of the nation’s first lady during his term from 1977 to 1981. She leaves behind four children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.