Melania Trump’s mother Amalija Knavs dies at age 78: Former first lady pays tribute to


Former First Lady Melania Trump‘s mother Amalija Knavs, 78, has died after her daughter cared for her at her hospital bedside 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 in a touching tribute on Tuesday night.

‘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.’

Melania did not reveal a cause of death, but former President Donald Trump said on New Year’s Eve she was ‘very ill’ and the impact was ‘tough’ on the family.

Knavs was born in 1945 in Slovenia when it was still under communist rule. She was working at a textile factor when she met husband Viktor and had Melania in 1970. 

The pair then moved to the U.S. and have been by Melania’s side during her career from modeling to the East Wing. 

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

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

Knavs was a textile factory dealer in her native Slovenia when she met husband Viktor. The pair then moved to the U.S. and have been by Melania's side during her career from modeling to the East Wing. She is pictured with her daughter in 2004

Knavs was a textile factory dealer in her native Slovenia when she met husband Viktor. The pair then moved to the U.S. and have been by Melania’s side during her career from modeling to the East Wing. She is pictured with her daughter in 2004

Melania wasn’t in family Christmas images posted to social media and she skipped a star-studded New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago because she was taking care of her mother in a Miami hospital.

At the party, the former president confirmed Melania‘s mother was ‘very ill’ and the situation has been ‘tough’ for their family.

He told an adoring crowd assembled at his Mar-a-Lago estate that Melania was absent because she was currently at her mother’s side at a nearby hospital.

‘Hopefully she’ll be recovering,’ the former president said at the time after mentioning he had just gotten off the phone with Melania who is at a Miami hospital with her sick mother.`

‘It’s a tough one, a very tough one,’ Trump continued, saying Melania ‘sends 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 the partygoers according to a video captured by one participant and posted to X.  

Knavs had been sick in the hospital, according to multiple reports – and the former first lady was by her mother’s side instead of at Mar-a-Lago celebrating the holidays with her family.

Donald Trump Jr.’s finacé Kimberly Guilfoyle posted a family photo to her Instagram story the day after Christmas including several members of the Trump family.

Throwback: Trump poses with Melania and Barron and his parents-in-law Amalija and Viktor Knavs on Christmas 2008

Throwback: Trump poses with Melania and Barron and his parents-in-law Amalija and Viktor Knavs on Christmas 2008

Left to right, Eric Trump, Viktor Knavs, Amalija Knavs, and Donald Trump pose for a group portrait at the Mar-a-Lago club in 2006

Left to right, Eric Trump, Viktor Knavs, Amalija Knavs, and Donald Trump pose for a group portrait at the Mar-a-Lago club in 2006

Amalija and her husband Viktor walk into the White House in August 2019. The pair met in their native Slovenia before moving to the United States

Amalija and her husband Viktor walk into the White House in August 2019. The pair met in their native Slovenia before moving to the United States 

Immediately of notice was Melania’s absence from the image.

‘Melania has always been very devoted to her entire family,’ a source close to the former first lady told Fox News Digital. ‘It should be no surprise that she spent this Christmas with her ailing mother.’

Guilfoyle’s image posted on her Instagram story on Tuesday evening saw a large chunk of the Trump crew 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 fiancé 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. Pictured far left: Melania's father Viktor Knavs

Don Jr.’s fiancé 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. Pictured far left: Melania’s father Viktor Knavs

The picture also includes former President Donald Trump; his eldest son Don Jr. and finacé Guilfoyle; the youngest Trump child Barron, 17; Tiffany Trump and husband Michael Boulos; and eldest daughter Ivanka with husband Jared Kushner and their three kids, Arabella, 12, Joseph, 10, and Theodore, seven.

The tallest of the bunch is Barron, who is seen standing several inches taller than his father, who is 6’3′.

Reports this month indicate that Melania, 53, will increase her public appearances the support her husband’s reelection bid.

It comes after the former first lady, an immigrant herself, 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 did not attend with the other presidents.

Besides Melania, Eric Trump and wife Lara were also not in the group shot in front of the Mar-a-Lago Christmas tree posted on Tuesday.

Guilfoyle also posted a few images to her Instagram grid with her fiancé Don Jr., and the ex-president in front of the festive decorations at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence. 

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

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

While they did not spend Christmas Day together, half sisters Ivanka and Tiffany Trump joined the family celebration on December 25.

The two also showed off their festive spirits in jolly posts shared to 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 donned an all-black look, wearing their hair loose as they beamed at the camera.

‘Merry Christmas, from our hearts to yours,’ Marla wrote on the post. ‘Love, Marla & Tiffany.’

Meanwhile, Ivanka shared some festive snaps to social media, posting a Christmas snap – as well as some throwback pics.

Former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle also posted to her Instagram on Tuesday, December 26 an image with fiancé Don Jr. and former President Donald Trump with the back drop of Mar-a-Lago Christmas decorations

Former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle also posted to her Instagram on Tuesday, December 26 an image with fiancé Don Jr. and former President Donald Trump with the back drop of Mar-a-Lago Christmas decorations

Ivanka Trump, 42, husband Jared Kushner, 42, and their three kids - Arabella, 12, Joseph, 10, and Theodore, seven - were pictured with former President Trump on December 26

Ivanka Trump, 42, husband Jared Kushner, 42, and their three kids – Arabella, 12, Joseph, 10, and Theodore, seven – were pictured with former President Trump on December 26

Sharing two pictures to her Instagram story, the second eldest child of Donald’s first wife Ivana and the president, showed off her smiling family celebrating the holidays.

In one picture, Ivanka, husband Jared Kushner, both 43, and their three kids — 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 were dressed up for the celebration, with the mom-of-three simply adding a Merry Christmas gif to her Instagram story.

Ivanka, who converted to Judaism for husband Jared, posted on the first night of Hanukkah urging people to ‘bring light to the world’ amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. 



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