Why Did FLOTUS Wear A Veil At The Vatican, But Not A Headscarf In Saudi Arabia?

Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images.
First lady Melania Trump visiting the Vatican.
Photo: AP/REX/Shutterstock.
First lady Melania Trump visiting Saudi Arabia.
All first ladies carefully plan every outfit she would wear during their trips abroad, and first lady Melania Trump is no exception. FLOTUS seems to have deliberately chosen her outfits for her first foreign trip since her husband took office, including what to wear during her audience with Pope Francis.
The first lady showed up to her meeting with His Holiness wearing a long-sleeved, black Dolce & Gabbana dress and a black veil covering her hair. (She's worn Dolce & Gabbana quite often.) The first daughter and senior adviser to the president, Ivanka Trump, also wore a long-sleeved black dress and veil to the Vatican.
However, their outfits had some people questioning on social media: Why did the Trump women wear veils during their Vatican visit, but skipped wearing headscarves during their stop in Saudi Arabia?
Well, there are a couple of reasons for that.
"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.
Grisham added that Melania didn't cover her head with the customary headscarf while visiting Saudi Arabia because it was not required nor requested that she do so. Unlike local women, foreigners are not required to wear headscarves in the country. (But they still have to adhere to the nation's strict dressing code and wear a type of robe known as an abaya when they are in public.)
Trump's style approach to the visits was similar to former First Lady Michelle Obama's. When she visited the Vatican in 2009 and met Pope Benedict XVI, Obama wore the customary black veil and long-sleeved dress. And when she traveled to Saudi Arabia in early 2015, she also chose not to wear a headscarf.
At the time, President Trump criticised the decision and tweeted, "Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted.We have enuf enemies."
It's unclear how he feels about his wife and daughter choosing the same path.

More from Politics

R29 Original Series