Here’s Why Melania Trump Wore Black To Meet The Pope

President Donald Trump met a sad-looking Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, along with his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and others. 

Melania and Ivanka both wore black dresses with long sleeves and black veils (Melania?s dress was Dolce & Gabbana, a possible nod to the host country). Although Pope Francis has not enforced traditional dress code rules for women at private Vatican audiences as strictly as his predecessors did, both women kept to old-school protocol. 

This traditional rule holds that most women wear long black dresses with sleeves and mantillas, and only a very select handful of women enjoy an exception. These ladies have the ?privilège du blanc,? or ?privilege of the white,? which means they?re allowed to wear white if they choose. According to the World Heritage Encyclopedia, the queens of Italy, Belgium and Spain, grand duchesses of Luxembourg, and princesses of the House of Savoy are automatically allowed to exercise the ?privilège du blanc.

There?s a common theme: Those are all Catholic royal houses, though not all Catholic royals automatically enjoy the privilege. And modern first ladies, at least, have strictly adhered to the traditional mandate.

?Per Vatican protocol, women who have an audience with the Pope are required to wear long sleeves, formal black clothing, and a veil to cover the head,? the first lady?s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN in a statement.

See what other first ladies and royals have worn for audiences with the Pope:

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