Melania Trump and Former President Donald Trump Attend Funeral at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church

Melania Trump and Former President Donald Trump Attend Funeral at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church

Amalija Knavs to be Laid to Rest at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church

Mourners, including former First Lady Melania Trump and her father Viktor, are set to gather at the historic Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church to bid farewell to Amalija Knavs, who passed away on January 9 at the age of 78. Donald Trump, 77, is expected to attend the funeral after arriving in Palm Beach.

Uncertain Attendance Amidst Legal Controversy

Donald Trump’s attendance at the funeral remained uncertain due to a recent exchange with a New York federal judge overseeing a defamation case against him.

Despite the judge denying a trial delay, Trump is anticipated to join the gathering in Palm Beach.

A Place of Significance for the Trump Family

The Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church holds sentimental value for the Trump family, as Melania and Donald Trump exchanged vows there in 2005.

The 125-year-old chapel, nestled in Palm Beach, has been a regular place of worship for the Trumps, including Barron’s christening and various Christmas services.

Legal Controversy and Social Media Outburst

While legal matters cast a shadow over Trump’s potential attendance, Judge Lewis Kaplan clarified that the former President wasn’t legally obligated to be present.

Nonetheless, Trump expressed his displeasure on Truth Social, labeling the judge as biased. Despite the tensions, Trump paid tribute to his mother-in-law during his recent victory speech.

Melania’s Absence During Holiday Celebrations

Melania Trump, who cared for her ailing mother in the weeks leading to the funeral, missed most of the Christmas and New Year celebrations at Mar-a-Lago.

In a statement, she praised Amalija Knavs as a strong and devoted woman, emphasizing her grace, warmth, and dignity.

From Slovenia to Mar-a-Lago: Amalija Knavs’ Journey

Amalija Knavs, born in Austria in 1945, moved to Slovenia during communist rule, where she met Viktor Knavs.

The couple had two daughters, Ines and Melania, who later pursued modeling careers in Milan. Melania arrived in the U.S. in 1996, eventually becoming a naturalized citizen in 2006.

Amalija and Viktor met Donald Trump in 2002 during his visit to Slovenia.

A Modest Couple’s Journey to Citizenship

Despite living modestly in Slovenia during Trump’s presidential campaign, the Knavs later moved to the U.S. and became naturalized citizens in 2018.

They enjoyed their retirement as Mar-a-Lago residents. Melania acknowledged her parents’ influence on her fashion sense and business acumen in her 2016 Republican National Convention speech.

Celebrations and Concerns: New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago

At Mar-a-Lago’s New Year’s Eve party, Donald Trump confirmed Amalija’s illness but expressed optimism about her recovery.

The former president spoke positively about her familiarity with the attendees. Meanwhile, the funeral venue, Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, holds significance as the location of Melania and Donald Trump’s grand wedding in 2005.