VATICAN CITY (CNN) – Melania Trump has dutifully considered every outfit she has worn during her first trip abroad as first lady — her visit with Pope Francis on Wednesday was no exception.
With Vatican protocol in mind, the first lady arrived to meet the Pope on Wednesday wearing a black veil and long-sleeved Dolce and Gabbana black dress draped down to her calf. President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, wore a similar outfit with a larger veil.
“Per Vatican protocol, women who have an audience with the Pope are required to wear long sleeves, formal black clothing, and a veil to cover the head,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, told CNN.
Days earlier, during her visit to Saudi Arabia, a strictly conservative Muslim theocracy, the first lady eschewed the customary headscarf but stepped foot in the birthplace of Islam wearing a black jumpsuit reminiscent of the abaya worn by most women there. Despite not covering her head, the first lady’s outfit earned her rave reviews from the local press, who praised her attention to the country’s culture.
When asked why she wore a veil at the Vatican but eschewed a head covering in Saudi Arabia, Grisham said there was no request or requirement for her attire from that country.
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