Melania Trump Meets Queen Rania, as White House Grapples With Crises


A billionaire, a queen and an American first lady walked into a public charter school on Wednesday, collecting bouquets, examining owl pellets and hugging students amid the rapid-fire clicking of cameras.

The visit to Excel Academy, an all-girls charter school, by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Queen Rania of Jordan and Melania Trump, the first lady, was meant to emphasize the Trump administration’s stance on school choice. But it was also part of a day of photo ops intended to cast a softer lens on a presidential administration grappling with several international crises, and provide another glimpse of a first lady whose sporadic appearances in Washington have revealed relatively little about her own leadership style.

A meeting at the White House

Photo

President Trump shakes hands with King Abdullah of Jordan, as Mrs. Trump and Queen Rania look on.

Credit
Doug Mills/The New York Times

Earlier in the day, Mrs. Trump and Queen Rania stood behind President Trump and King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House. It was just one item on Wednesday’s agenda, which was also packed with a news conference to condemn a chemical attack in Syria and meetings to discuss brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

At the news conference in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said his position on the civil war in Syria and his opinion of the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, had changed. Mr. Trump did not offer details on any shift in policy.

King Abdullah is viewed as a moderate voice among Arab leaders and has established himself as a willing partner to Mr. Trump. This was his second visit to Washington since Inauguration Day.

Next up: A visit to a school

Photo

The first lady, Melania Trump, visited Excel Academy, an all-girls charter school, on Wednesday, with Queen Rania of Jordan.

Credit
Al Drago/The New York Times

The day’s visits offered the American public another look at Mrs. Trump, who has revealed relatively little about her approach to the role of first lady. As a woman who has been in the public eye for decades, Queen Rania might have provided a template of sorts for Mrs. Trump: She is an education activist and a member of Jordanian royalty, and her public presence is well-curated with bilingual updates on her trips to schools, family events and hospitals.

At the short listening session with students at Excel Academy, Queen Rania asked follow-up questions about the coursework and curriculum. Mrs. Trump stuck to the basics, asking the students for their names and grade levels, but later elaborated on the visit in a statement relayed by the White House.

“Education is critical to our efforts to shine a light on the topic of gender equality and empowerment of women,” Mrs. Trump said. “Hearing directly from teachers and the students who attend the school was an important step in the dialogue needed to further my agenda as first lady of the United States.”

And, on social media, a debate over style.

Photo

The meeting between the women led to discussion on social media about their outfits.

Credit
Doug Mills/The New York Times

The meeting between Queen Rania and Mrs. Trump was quickly framed on social media as a battle of the stylish. Both women appeared in structured looks: Mrs. Trump in a kelly green dress with a center slit and belt, and Queen Rania in a black ensemble with a high neck.

Vanessa Friedman, our chief fashion critic, offered her analysis: “They both seem to have dressed for business: covered-up and suited (or in Mrs. Trump’s case, suit-dressed). It’s a very safe look, for both women, if not one that conveys fun or relaxation — or even modernity. Rather, both looks respect the office, and the idea of a state visit. Though interestingly, there is also something subtly militaristic in the tailored lines of each outfit.”

Because Americans know little about her, the curiosity surrounding Mrs. Trump is sometimes focused intensely on her aesthetic: Her official portrait, released this week, instantly spawned debate over what she was wearing, her makeup, her airbrushing choices, her outfit’s designer and her physical stance. Her meeting with Queen Rania, whose outfits are often featured in tabloids for those seeking to replicate her choices, is likely to prompt a similar reaction.

Continue reading the main story



Source link

About admin

Check Also

Hunting Taliban and Islamic State Fighters, From 20,000 Feet

General Nicholson said the campaign would last for months, as the Taliban operates 400 to ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *