Ever since they met at a party back in 1998, Donald Trump and his third wife, Melania have certainly been on a wild ride. Well, it was kind of a given right? Seeing as their wedding alone cost more money than the average person is ever likely to amass over the course of their lifetime.
The years following on from tying the knot in 2005 have been equally as eventful too – the couple welcomed a son together, Barron William Trump, and Melania was thrust even further into the spotlight when she became First Lady of the United States, following her Donald's shock win during the 2016 election.
Their four years of living in the White House have also been far from plain sailing, what with there being rumours of Donald's alleged affairs doing the rounds (and not to mention him being impeached not once but twice), multiple videos showing Melania brushing off Donald's hand leading people to speculate about the state of their marriage, and some rather awkward interviews.
While they've now officially left Washington D.C. and have flown over to Florida, we're sure it's not the last we've seen or heard from this controversial couple. But in the meantime, here's a look back at their 22 years together (quickly starting with the most recent update):
20 January 2021: They've officially left the building
And so it was – four controversial years in the White House come to an end. As Joe Biden was sworn in as the new President of the United States, Donald Trump told everyone to "have a good life" and skipped the inauguration ceremony (a record-breaking snub) in favour of heading to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.
Here's the rest of Trump and Melania's relationship timeline:
September 1998: They meet at a party
Slovenian model Melania Knauss (born Melanija Knavs), who until this point was leading a relatively quiet life, meets New York-based businessman Donald Trump at a fashion week party held in the Kit Kat Club, Manhattan. It's reported that Trump (who was in the process of divorcing his second wife, Marla Maples at the time) was won over by Melania after she refused to give him her phone number, asking for his instead. Later that month (pictured above), the pair attend a film premier together.
9 June 1999: Trump's divorce from Marla Maples is finalised
"After giving Donald two years to honour the verbal commitments he made to me during our 12-year relationship, I decided to walk away completely under the terms of the prenuptial agreement that had been placed before me just five days before our 1993 wedding," Maples says in a statement at the time. Trump will go on to propose to Melania, making her his third wife, five years later.
9 November 1999: They discuss their sex life and Trump makes his first presidential bid
As Trump launched his campaign to become leader of the Reform Party, DJ Howard Stern, known for his, err, frank interview style, calls the political hopeful for a chat – Trump picks up and says he's in bed with Melania, then subsequently put her on the phone. When Stern asks what she's wearing, Melania replies "Not much!" and says ~ urgh, sorry ~ they have sex every night and that they have "a great time". Trump adds, "When we walk into a restaurant, I watch grown men weep." BRB taking a shower after writing that paragraph.
March 2000: Trump's first run for President – without Melania
Yep, his election win back in 2016 wasn't the businessman's first foray into the political scene. Trump loses the race to become leader of the Reform Party (est. in 1992) to Pat Buchanan, who he later hit out at and called a "Hitler lover". Around this time, it's said Melania broke up with Trump, possibly because the pressure of being in the spotlight became too much.
Early 2001: The pair get back together
Melania gets her Green Card, making her an American citizen, and moves into the penthouse at Trump Tower. They resume being regularly photographed at events together, including fashion week parties, the Vanity Fair Oscar's do and the Bloomberg's pre-dinner party, for the Annual White House Correspondents Dinner (pictured above).
26 April 2004: Trump proposes at the Met Gala
Presenting her with one very hefty diamond ring, thought to have cost $1.5m, Trump proposes to Melania at the Met Gala (and later praises her willingness to sign a pre-nup). "We're together five years, and these five years for whatever reasons have been my most successful," Trump tells press at the time. "I have to imagine she had something to do with that." Melania says to the New York Post, "It was a great surprise. We are very happy together."
22 January 2005: They marry in Florida
The extravagant affair is rumoured to rack up a bill of $2.5 million (with a casual $100,000 going on Melania's custom-designed Dior dress alone). After the church ceremony, the newlyweds and their 350 guests headed back to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort to party in the newly renovated ballroom.
20 March 2006: Barron William Trump is born
Melania announces her pregnancy via a gold bikini photoshoot in Vogue (naturally). After the birth of Barron, Donald will go on to brag about how he never changes his nappy, citing Melania as taking on the bulk of the childcare. When asked about her relationship with Trump's other children (Ivanka, Eric, Donald Junior, who she is just eight years older than, and Tiffany), Melania tells Harper's Bazaar, "I don't see myself as their mother. I am their friend and I'm here when they need me."
22 January 2015: It's their ten year wedding anniversary
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) January 22, 2015
Melania celebrates by tweeting a shot from their wedding, along with the words "#10year #anniversary 💍 @melaniatrump ❤️ @realDonaldTrump".
June 2015: Trump launches his second bid to become President
As Trump throws his name in the ring to become the Republican presidential nomination, Melania keeps an aloof persona in the press. She tells GQ, "I chose not to go into politics and policy... nobody knows and nobody will ever know [what she and Trump discuss]." She later adds that she "encouraged him" to run for the role.
8 October 2016: Melania condemns Trump's behaviour
A month before the big election, Melania weighs in on the resurfaced tapes in which her husband makes offensive and disparaging remarks about women, saying he "grabs them by the pussy". Melania says in response that she has accepted his apology, "This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."
8 November 2016: Trump wins the US election
Melania, Barron and Trump's four other children are all in attendance at a rally New York rally when the news breaks. Later, Melania will deny that she cried "tears – and not of joy" upon hearing her husband had won the election, with many outlets, including Vanity Fair, reporting she desperately does not want to become First Lady.
20 January 2017: Trump moves into the White House alone
Melania officially becomes First Lady and Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, however, Melania remains in New York with their son until June (due to Barron's schooling). On the inauguration day, the press and social media react to Trump not waiting for Melania to get out of the car, before walking up the White House steps. She is also seen smiling, then frowning, after Trump turns away from her during the prayer ceremony.
7 February 2018: The hand-swatting ramps up a notch
WATCH: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart the White House on their way to Ohio pic.twitter.com/unoZ5xyEXN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 5, 2018
25 March 2018: Stormy Daniels speaks out about alleged Trump affair
After years of rumours that Trump allegedly had an affair with adult entertainer Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) – which she claims began in the summer of 2006 and lasted "well into 2007" – Stormy gives a televised interview, claiming she was threatened and paid to keep quiet. "He was like, 'Wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter'," she said on 60 Minutes. "He was like, 'You're smart, beautiful and a woman to be reckoned with, I like you'."
A White House spokesperson says of Stormy's allegations, "The president strongly, clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims, and the only person who’s been inconsistent is the one making the claims."
12 October 2018: They are... fine
During an interview, in which she is asked by ABC reporter Tom Llamas if she loves her husband, Melania replies, "Yes. We are fine. Yes." She later added on the subject of his rumoured affair that she has "much more important things to think about and to do."
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