WHEN IN BELGIUM: One day into a weeklong European tour that will be rooted in meetings with NATO and British leaders, followed by a finale in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump took aim at German Chancellor Angela Merkel via Twitter. But First Lady Melania Trump appeared more placid for this afternoon’s outing to The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo, Belgium. While NATO talks were in full swing, the sideline event was geared for the power players’ spouses. For Wednesday night’s festivities, Trump went with a white sleeveless embroidered tulle cocktail dress from Elie Saab, according to a press pool report.
Walking up the stairs with Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and his wife Karin at the Musees Royaux D’Art et Histoire, Trump responded to a question from CNN’s Kate Bennett with, “Very good. Very good day at NATO.”
With more business to tend to, there were two dinners on-site – one for the leaders and another for their spouses. That meant L’Air du Temps two-star Michelin chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre was doing double duty.
Partial to European labels for global photo ops, FLOTUS switched things up earlier in the day by wearing a sleeveless navy Calvin Klein 205W39NYC dress. As she has done in the past during other international trips, the First Lady’s choice appeared to be a nod to the location — in this case Calvin Klein creative director Raf Simons’ homeland. What he or the New York-based Calvin Klein Inc. may have thought of the occasion is unknown, as a company spokeswoman declined comment. Simons was unavailable to comment, she said.
Once again FLOTUS went with Christian Louboutin heels, though not nearly as spiky as the six-inch ones she wore with a Burberry trenchcoat for Tuesday’s arrival in Brussels. After sailing past four models dressed by Belgian designer Bernard Depoorter near the doorway, Trump was greeted by Amélie Derbaudrenghien, the domestic partner of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and Ingrid Schulerud, wife of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. French First Lady Brigitte Macron was also on hand, as were other spouses.
In addition to the six-discipline concert that included interpretations of “Carmen Fantasy” by Hubay and “Valse-Scherzo” by Tchaikovsky, guests had a chocolate tasting on the patio compliments of Herman van Dender, the official chocolate supplier to the Belgian royal family. Natan suited up the all-female musicians at the concert. During the concert’s intermission, the 11 global notables posed for a group photo with Trump standing between Macron and Derbaudrenghien. There was also adequate time to check out hats designed by local milliner Fabienne Delvigne, who has a 30-year track record.
Once the Belgian leg of the tour is over, the Trumps will be off to London on Thursday afternoon. Their overnight stay will start by being welcomed by Prime Minister Theresa May at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. While the president will visit May’s official country residence to discuss foreign policy issues, the First Lady will spend some time with May’s husband Philip, who reportedly bought a new suit for the occasion. The first couple’s high point is planned before their departure — tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
After all of these high-powered meet-and-greets and talks about trade and tariffs, the President and First Lady plan to weekend in Scotland at a Trump-owned resort. Golf is said to be in order, before boarding Air Force One Sunday bound for Helsinki. The Trump-Putin summit is set for Monday and Finland’s Interior Ministry has proposed reinstating border checks for travelers from the 26 European states that are part of the Schengen Area.