Melania Trump has not been a traditional first lady, which is fitting, since nothing about the Trump presidency can be described as traditional. One of her most unconventional moves thus far has been delaying her move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in favor of staying in New York City while her 11-year-old son Barron finished the school year. But now, summer is upon us and the school year is ending, so Melania and Barron Trump are preparing to move to the White House. Here are some of the changes we can expect when the first lady joins her husband in Washington.
1. She will likely pick an issue to focus on.
Traditionally, first ladies pick a cause to champion during their time in the White House and Melania Trump will likely do the same. When Michelle Obama was first lady, for example, she took on childhood obesity and gender equality in education through her Let's Move! and Let Girls Learn initiatives, respectively.
While Melania spoke out on the campaign trail about plans to take on cyberbullying as her cause, she's been silent on the issue since her husband took office. As Vanity Fair points out, however, Melania may be letting actions speak louder than words when it comes to the issues that will take the forefront for her.
Since becoming the FLOTUS, Melania has made several appearances at children's hospitals, including D.C.'s Children's National hospital.
On her recent overseas trip with Donald Trump, she spent time at the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome, visiting with patients.
While we'll have to wait and see what cause Melania officially dedicates herself to as first lady, children's health seems to be a top priority for her.
2. The East Wing will probably staff up.
The Office of the First Lady, headquartered in the East Wing of the White House, has been staffing up slowly since Trump took office. When Melania officially relocates to Washington, we might see that staff grow.
Right now, Melania's staff includes chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds, social secretary Anna Cristina "Rickie" Niceta Lloyd, senior adviser and chief strategist Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, and communications director Stephanie Grisham.
In contrast, Michelle Obama famously had a staff of 24 and other recent ladies, like Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, had staffs ranging in size from 13 to 22, depending on the year. Even though there is precedent for the Office of the First Lady employing a significant staff, there are no hard and fast rules about how many people should work with the FLOTUS.
Melania can hire as many or as few people as she wants, and some reports have even indicated that Donald Trump sees the Office of the First Lady as a place to cut costs, suggesting her staff won't be as large as those of first ladies past. Still, it would be surprising if Melania didn't fill a few more positions once she settles down in D.C.
3. She may work closely with Ivanka.
Although Melania hasn't staffed up the East Wing, another member of the Trump family has been taking on staff. While the first lady has been in New York with Barron, Trump's daughter, Ivanka, has stepped up and taken on responsibilities typically handled by the FLOTUS. While Ivanka's official position in the White House is unpaid, she has taken on some staff, which is unusual for a first daughter.
In the early months of her father's administration, Ivanka accompanied the president on official trips and hosted D.C. dinner parties to promote her cause of choice, equality for women in the workplace.
In February, there were also reports that Ivanka had moved into the East Wing office usually reserved for the first lady and redecorated the space, which the Trumps were reportedly referring to it as the "First Family Office."
Given the active role Ivanka has taken in the administration, it stands to reason that she and her stepmother may end up working together. They could work on shared projects and in a shared space once the first lady settles into the White House.
4. She may have an impact on Donald Trump's staff.
Melania may have been out of sight for the last few months, but that doesn't mean she hasn't been an active member of Team Trump. According to a recent Politico report, Melania is something of a media watchdog for Trump, keeping tabs on unflattering reports about the president and sharing them with him.
The Politico report also suggests that Melania hasn't been 100 percent happy with what she's seen about the POTUS in the media lately, and that she even went so far as to suggest shakeups to his communications team, specifically when it comes to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
"She was really concerned that Spicer was not doing a good job, that they were not proactive in defending the president," an outside adviser to the president said, according to Politico. "The leaks bother her. She believes a lot of people are more interested in serving themselves than him."
It's worth noting that a senior White House official has reportedly denied the story. The first lady is always in a unique position to counsel the president, however, and if Melania does have concerns about members of the president's staff or how he is being portrayed in the media, she'll have every opportunity to discuss those issues with him once she moves to Washington.
5. Her look is reportedly changing.
In March, reports surfaced that Melania was already prepping for one aspect of her move to the White House: her Washington style. The New York Daily News reported that Melania was teaming up with her inauguration gown designer Herve Pierre to work on dresses that were "modern, sleek, and form-fitting."
You can even see some evidence of the highlights in recent pictures of Melania from her trip to Rome. And though hair and outfits certainly shouldn't be the focus around the FLOTUS, it's clear the former model knows the power of a photo op.