Melania Trump spread the holiday cheer Wednesday at her last day at the NATO summit when she created decorations with British school children and joined U.S. Embassy Marines in wrapping Christmas gifts that will be donated to local families.
The first lady joined about 30 fifth graders from the Baden Powell School and U.S. Embassy Marines at the the Salvation Army Centre in Clapton, East London, for the holiday event. She was accompanied by Suzanne Johnson, wife of the U.S. Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson.
Melania Trump, wearing a black and white checkered coat, donated several gifts to be given to local families, including soccer balls, caps and frisbees – all bearing the ‘Be Best’ logo, which is her signature initiative.
Melania Trump applauds the school children after they sang her a Christmas song
Fifth graders from Baden Powell School sang ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ to the first lady
Isabelle Bates was one of the fifth grade student leaders who escorted the first lady around the event
Isabelle Bates, one of the fifth grade student leaders who escorted the first lady around the event, expressed surprise Melania Trump had never had a minced pie, which is a pie filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices called ‘mincemeat’, that is traditionally served during the Christmas season.
‘I was surprised at she’s never had a minced pie,’ Isabelle, age 10, said. ‘She said she was going to try one tonight.’
‘I thought she was really fun,’ she added. ‘My impression of her was actually really nice. Everyone was expecting her to be very grumpy but she was actually very nice.’
Quiana Mullings, age 9, said the first lady looked sad but was actually ‘very happy.’
‘I’m gonna be honest and say her make-up was a bit much,’ Quiana said. ‘It made her look sad but actually she was very happy.’
Isabelle said the kids were asking the first lady a lot of questions about what she does for Christmas.
‘She said put ornaments on the tree before Christmas,’ Isabelle said Melania told them.
Melania Trump spread holiday cheer during a Salvation Army visit
She helped school children make a wreath
She and Embassy Marines wrapped presents for local families and the first lady donated soccer balls with her Be Best logo
During her 45 minute visit, Melania joined a table of school children in making a wreath, adding pine cones to one covered in gold tinsel.
She chatted with the school children for about 20 minutes, moving to a few different tables. She and Isabelle hung ornaments on a tree covered in decorations bearing the first lady’s ‘Be Best’ logo.
Many of the kids wore Santa hats or reindeer ears to get in the holiday mood. A Salvation Army band played Christmas carols like ‘Jingle Bells.’
The school kids also chose a song to sing to the first lady, opting for Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas Is You.’
Melania Trump gave the kids ornaments with her Be Best logo
She helps wrap a teddy bear for a local British family
Melania Trump stood to the side, nodding her head to the music and smiling as the kids performed. She clapped and told them ‘bravo’ when they were done.
After the song, the first lady gave each of the children an ornament with her Be Best logo on it. ‘Thank you,’ the children called out in return.
As part of the Salvation Army appeal, members of the British public are asked to buy an extra present for a child and donate it unwrapped to their local Salvation Army, where volunteers will wrap it and match it with a local family.
The first lady joined Embassy Marines in putting some of the gifts into gift bags, including books and a teddy bear along with a frisbee and a soccer ball – both with her Be Best logo.
She spent about 45 minutes with the children. One of the school girls had decorated Christmas cookies and gave them to her.
The Salvation Army works in 131 countries worldwide, including the United States.
Melania Trump often takes part in charity events around the holidays. She visited Red Cross headquarters in Washington D.C. late last month to pack care packages for U.S. troops overseas.
The first lady has been a low key presence on the trip at the NATO Summit, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the alliance.
She was one of the few spouses to attend the summit.
Neither French President Emmanuel Macron nor Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were seen with their wives at the posh receptions held for the leaders on Tuesday evening.
Melania did join President Trump at a trio of receptions – a tea with Charles and Camila at Clarence House, followed by a reception held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace and then a at 10 Downing Street hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
While President Donald Trump met with world leaders, Melania joined him at the social aspect of the event, attending a tea with Charles and Camila at Clarence House on Tuesday evening, followed by a reception held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, with a final stop at 10 Downing Street at a party hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte rode to 10 Downing Street from Buckingham Palace in the Beast with the president and first lady, giving the leaders some time together.
The French president was seen chatting with Melania when they arrived at 10 Downing, holding her hand and talking as President Trump stood in the background watching.
French President Emmanuel Macron chats with Melania Trump at 10 Downing Street as President Trump watches in the background
The Trumps gave Macron a ride in the Beast, the presidential limo
The first lady speaks with the Queen at Buckingham Palace
Melania Trump rides in the Beast, the presidential limo
Melania Trump wore a $7,700 Valentino cape for official NATO receptions Tuesday night
Melania grinned broadly as Macron held her hand and appeared to be flirting with her.
And she was the picture of patience as the Trumps had to wait outside in the chilly night air for the French and Italian leaders to proceed into 10 Downing Street ahead of them.
The first lady had her own form of diplomacy at work.
She was spotted greeting Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, with a kiss on the cheek at Clarence House.
She also walked with the Queen through Buckingham Palace, stopping to chat with her and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The 5 foot 11 inch Melania, in her signature sky-high stilettos, towered over the 5 foot 3 inch Queen.
Melania wore a bright yellow Valentino cloak for the reception with fuschia high heels. The long sleeves of her matching fuschia dress could be seen under the cape.
Her appearance in the United Kingdom comes as an unauthorized biography of her hit book shelves in America.
‘Free, Melania,’ written by CNN reporter Kate Bennett, is an unauthorized biography of the first lady that reveals the level of influence Melania, 49, plays in Donald Trump’s administration despite the pubic rarely hearing from her.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wait for their turns to go into 10 Downing Street for a reception
Melania exercised her own form of diplomacy, chatting with the Queen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg (right)
President Trump and Melania Trump attended a reception at 10 Downing Street – one of three they attended Tuesday night
Melania joined the president for a trio of receptions Tuesday night
The 288-page book is out Tuesday and it examines Melania’s life ‘from her childhood in Slovenia to her days in the White House, and everything in between,’ according to its summary on Amazon.com.
Revelations include why the first lady wore that infamous ‘I really don’t care, do u’ jacket, new details on the severity of her May 2018 health crisis, behind-the-scene details of her White House life, and an examination of the first lady’s relationship with Ivanka Trump.
It also revealed the first lady sleeps in a separate bedroom on a different floor of the White House from her husband and has her own ‘glam room’ where she gets her hair and make-up done for events.
The book has new details on Melania’s May 2018 kidney procedure, when she was hospitalized for a week and spent over 20 days out of public sight recovering.
The White House said the first lady ‘underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition.’
But ‘Free, Melania’ reports Melania’s friends feared she could have lost the organ.
Melania Trump exchanges a kiss with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, when the Trumps attended a tea at Clarence House
The Trumps met with Charles and Camilla
The Trumps greet the Queen, Charles and Camilla at Buckingham Palace
‘Melania’s medical procedure was indeed not minor — and that an embolization of a growth of some sort, small or large, when attached to the kidney, as hers might have been, made for a dangerous and complicated procedure,’ the book notes.
‘Couple that with the amount of pain she had apparently been in, according to close friends, and how long she had been in pain prior to the surgery, and there was concern that if her recuperation was not careful and extended, her type of condition could possibly result in the loss of her kidney,’ it adds.
Melania Trump has been one of the most private first ladies in recent history.
She rarely gives a TV interview, has yet to appear on the cover of a major magazine, and her staff runs her social media accounts.