- Melania Trump and Michelle Obama sit next to each other
- Former first lady’s grandson thanks them for their ‘sisterhood’
The five surviving members of the first lady sisterhood were front and center at the funeral of Rosalynn Carter, temporarily burying any differences and sitting side-by-side to remember one of their exclusive club.
In perhaps the starkest example of unity Melania Trump and Michelle Obama sat next to each other, inches apart, disregarding the enmity engendered by their husbands’ presidencies.
It was a rare public appearance by Mrs Trump, who has remained out of of the limelight as her husband pursues a third tilt at the White House.
She was first to walk into Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, taking a seat on the end of the front row next to the aisle.
Melania Trump leads Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton into church
The first ladies seated in the front row
Melania Trump and Michelle Obama head to their seats
Mrs Trump was followed by Mrs Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton as they took seats in that order.
Jill Biden, the current first lady, was separated from the other four by Bill Clinton.
All five women remained poised throughout the ceremony, listening to tributes to their predecessor and studying their service sheets.
There appeared to be no interacion between them during the service.
A military honor guard carries the casket of late US First Lady Rosalynn Carter
The former first ladies take their seats
Rosalynn Carter’s grandson Jason Carter praised them for paying tribute.
‘Thank you all for coming and acknowledging this remarkable sisterhood you share with my grandmother,’ he said.
‘And thank you all for your leadership you provided for our country and the world.’
Drawing laughter from the audience he added: ‘Secretary Clinton and Dr Biden, we also welcome your lovely husbands.’
The turnout of political luminaries – incusing all the living first ladies – showed the high regard in which they Rosalynn Carter.
She was celebrated as an active first lady who championed then little-discussed issues of mental health.