They’ve been plagued by reports of separate lives when they’re not in the public eye, but it looks like Melania and her husband Donald Trump have trouble sticking together even when they’re in the spotlight.
The couple were sighted disembarking from Air Force One last weekend, with Twitter erupting over the way the President – as he is prone to do – rushed ahead without his wife, Melania.
We’ve always been taught it’s the chivalrous thing to wait for your lady friend, and etiquette experts agree.
“In the photographs, what we’re clearly seeing is that Donald Trump is walking not just one stair ahead, not two stairs ahead, but a few feet ahead. She’s not being accompanied by him,” expert Jacqueline Whitmore told the Huffington Post.
It’s a stark contrast to POTUSes behaviour in the past, with Barack Obama often sighted walking alongside his wife Michelle.
“If you look at some of the old photos of Ronald and Nancy Reagan or the Obamas, they are very close together,” adds Jacqueline. “In other words, they’re a unit, they’re a couple, they’re engaging in this activity together.”
Jacqueline goes on to explain while walking down stairs, it’s the gentlemanly thing for a man to walk slightly ahead in case of a stumble or fall.
But with Trump charging full steam ahead and his feet on terra firma while Melania is still making her descent, Jacqueline explains this distance “could be perceived as a sign of disrespect”.
It’s not the first time Trump has come under fire for his public interactions with Melania. He was accused of dropping his wife’s hand when approaching the media in February.
Trump was also seen quickly getting out of a car on his inauguration day back in January to greet the Obamas on the White House steps – and leaving Melania trailing behind him.
"Melania is an object to [Trump]," body language expert Susan Constantine told Mic at the time. "I don't see any warmth or true love and compassion in that relationship whatsoever."
"If you didn't know that they were married, you wouldn't know that they are married.”