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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ladies in Black

First Lady in Black  (Photo by Regine Mahaux)
First Lady Melania Trump and “Lady-In-Waiting” Ivanka Trump wore black during their visit with Pope Francis.

This was not sophistication at work, but rather centuries of tradition.  When women have “an audience with the pope,” they are supposed to “wear long sleeves, formal black clothing, and a veil to cover the head.”

Melania and Ivanka are in good company:  Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Barbara Bush, Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan did the same.  There have, however, been legitimate exceptions.

“Spain’s Queen Sofia and Belgium’s Queen Paola” wore white to Francis’ inauguration.  This “privilege of the white” (sounds a lot better in French: privilege du blanc) is granted to those considered to be “a Most Catholic Monarch/Most Catholic Majesty or the spouse thereof.”  These “ultra-Catholics” include royalty from Austria, Hungary, “Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Bavaria and Poland…”  


Copyright May 24, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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