While First Lady-in-waiting Melania Trump has enjoyed years of being only semi in the spotlight, her prominence in the public eye is about to balloon. Yes, her husband, President-elect Donald Trump, is preparing for his stint in the White House, and Melania will no doubt be readying herself for the increased exposure that’s yet to come too. But her story is already an inherently interesting one – full of controversy, success, secrets and failure.
So, where to begin? Well, Melania’s native country is Slovenia, where she was born in 1970 as Melanija Knavs. Later, she would change her name to the more English-sounding Melania Knauss. Her father, Viktor, was a car dealer, while her mother, Amalija, worked for a kids’ clothes company. She has a sister from one of Viktor’s previous relationships, and it later emerged she had a secret half-brother too.
As a teenager, Melania attended the University of Ljubljana, but she dropped out after just 12 months. Still, that didn’t stop her from claiming that she’d earned a degree in architecture and design. In fact, Melania only dropped the claim from her website in July 2016 after the media had picked up on it.