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Did You Know the First Lady's Real Name? You Might Be Surprised

As the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump has one of the most recognizable names in modern times. It's a rather exotic name, but it's not actually her real name. In fact, before becoming a Trump, she made changes to both her first and her maiden name along the way.

Many people don't realize that 'Melania' is not Mrs. Trump's real first name. She was born in the 1970's in Slovenia and grew up with an entirely different name. Her original birth name was Melanija Knavs.

Melania had aspirations of becoming a model, and at a young age she started getting a steady stream of work. Somewhere along the way, she made the subtle name change from 'Melanija' to 'Melania'.

Even more curious, her surname 'Knaves' was changed to 'Knauss' somewhere along the way. it's unclear why the Slovenian model decided to give her last name a German makeover.

She met Donald Trump in the late 1990s, after he divorced his second wife, Marla Maples. The two dated and finally tied the knot in 2005. That's when her name was changed to Melania Trump, the name by which we know her now, and presumably the name she'll use from here on out.

Melania never spoke publicly about why she decided to change her name, but most people speculate that the change had everything to do with her former profession. Most people in the entertainment industry change their names as a way of marketing themselves or making themselves more appealing. It's possible that dropping the 'j' and switching to Melania sounded more American than the original version.

Likely, there was some reason behind going from Knavs to Knauss, but that's all behind the FLOTUS now that she's a Trump it seems.

Melania is probably the world's most famous immigrant, which is ironic given her husband's position on immigration. As President Trump continues to crack down and deport more immigrants out of the country, some speculation arose about whether his wife was here legally.

Melania was apparently in the U.S. on a Visa, though some argue that she may have not been legally allowed to work in the country with it. There’s no evidence, however, of any wrongdoing on her part. Either way, it’s confirmed now that she is an American citizen. She became a citizen a year after marrying Donald Trump, and is the first naturalized first lady in American history.

Others have brought up speculation about Melania’s parents, who are not citizens. They have been spending an awful lot of time in the U.S., helping Melania raise Barron Trump while President Trump was busy with his campaign and official duties. Even now, the family spends a lot of time at the White House.

Some wonder if Melania has sponsored her parents for citizenship, which would be ironic. The move, known as ‘chain migration’, is one of the things that Trump is trying to effectively end—or at least, that he’s trying to severely restrict.

If Trump had his way, chain migration would be restricted so that naturalized American citizens could only sponsor their spouses and children for citizenship. If Trump’s policies were made into law, it would effectively prevent Melania from sponsoring her parents, but no one would put it past Trump to employ a double standard.

Source: Bustle
Photos: White House

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