Trump trip – what’s on a head?

Some curious choices over what has been worn on heads by Donald Trump, his wife and his daughter on visits to religious states.

When in Saudi Arabia…

CNN: Melania and Ivanka Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia sans headscarves

First lady Melania Trump and first daughter Ivanka Trump arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday morning sporting an absence of headscarves.

When asked why the Trumps went without scarves, the White House responded that they were not required to wear them.

Although they decided to forgo the headwear, both women were dressed conservatively in long pants and dresses.


Their choice of dress during the first stop on President Donald Trump’s inaugural trip abroad is notable because Trump criticized first lady Michelle Obama for making the same decision two years earlier – “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.”

One of many Trump contradictions.

When in Israel…

Ivanka was raised a Presbytarian, Her husband is Jared Kushner Jewish and she converted to Judaism before marrying him in 2009.

Trump followed local custom too (he is Presbytarian):


This was particularly notable because Trump was the first US president to visit the wall.

However is this in Israel?

When in the Vatican…


CNN: Melania Trump wears veil, but not a headscarf

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.

Melania Trump has prepared extensively, with the help of State Department officials, on the proper protocol and customs for each of the stops on the foreign trip, according to sources familiar with the preparations. She wanted to ensure a smooth debut on the world stage as first lady and avoid any embarrassing missteps.

So presumably Saudi customs and protocols were checked out before deciding what to wear or not to wear. I guess this is just a part of state visits. However there were no Saudi women at the state occasions there.

When in the US…


However it is one way – leaders who traditionally wear something on their heads keep them on when visiting. This is Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and defence minister Mohammed bin Salman at the White House on 14 March.