On Monday, May 7, the Met Gala ― or the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, as it's more officially known ― will be taking place in Manhattan, and just like every year, it figures to be an enormous, star-studded who's who. It also calls to mind an interesting biographical detail about the first family of the United States, namely that Donald Trump proposed to Melania at the Met Gala back in 2004.
As The New York Times noted on Thursday, in its lavish coverage of the run-up to the event, it was 14 years ago that the president, then still a reality TV host and businessman, proposed to the first lady. She accepted the proposal, becoming the third woman to become Trump's wife after his previous marriages to Ivana Trump and Marla Maples.
As the report notes, you probably shouldn't expect to see them at the high-society fashion gala this year, both because they're both likely rather preoccupied with their current lives at the White House, and perhaps more significantly, because they may not be welcome anymore. Last year, the iconic editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour, told late night host James Corden that she would not invite Trump to the Met Gala again.
It was at the star-studded gala in 2004 that Trump proposed to Melania, and presented her with a 15-carat diamond ring. The price Trump paid for the ring ultimately became something of a point of argument, as he claimed at the time that he'd gotten it for half it's $1.5 million price, from high-value diamond-seller Graff Diamonds, thanks to his high-profile name and brand.
Earlier this year, however, the wealthy chairman of the company, Laurence Graff, told Forbes that Trump received "no favours" when it came to the engagement ring, insisting that his company does not "sell items for publicity value." He did, however, add that Trump was a "pleasure to do business with."
The proposal capped off a long relationship between the real estate mogul and model, as the pair first met in 1998 at a fashion show in New York City, and Trump promptly asked her for her number, and gave her his information. They were married seven years later, in 2005, in a ceremony at a church in South Florida not far from his Mar-a-Lago estate.
They've been married ever since, despite multiple allegations both of consensual extramarital affairs on Trump's part ― including one with adult film star Stormy Daniels ― and multiple allegations of him engaging in sexually predatory behavior towards other women. Trump denied the affair with Daniels on Thursday morning, calling her claims "false and extortionist accusations," and he's vehemently denied all the sexual misconduct allegations against him, calling his many accusers "horrible, horrible liars."
In short, the Met Gala played a pretty important role in the relationship of the president and first lady, even though from the sounds of things, they might not be back in a while.
This year's gala will reportedly be hosted by a trio of high-profile, massively successful women: designer Donatella Versace, singer-songwriter Rihanna, and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Versace is by far the most frequent attendee of the annual gala, having reportedly been to 16 of them. By comparison, Rihanna has been to seven, while Clooney has only attended one other time, in 2015.
If you're interested in watching some of the glamorous arrivals for yourself, the Met Gala will be taking place on Monday, and there will be television coverage of the event on E! scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and last until 9:00 p.m. ET.