Barron Trump's relationship with maternal grandparents examined as first son eyed for more active public role

 January 5, 2024

As the 2024 presidential campaign season heats up, the attention of many has turned to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump's youngest child, Barron, who, at age 17, appears poised to step away from the shadow of his father's famous side of the family, while simultaneously embodying the values and upbringing aided by his mother's Slovenian parents, as The List explains.

Though Barron Trump has always been a subject of public fascination due to his surname and paternal familial ties, there is no denying the considerable influence his mother, Melania Trump, and his maternal grandparents, Amalija and Viktor Knavs, have had on his life.

Given how devoted Melania Trump has always been to her son throughout the course of his life, it should come as no surprise that her parents -- who moved to the United States to be closer to their daughter many years ago -- have also taken an extremely active role in his development.

Whether during his years in New York, in Washington, D.C, or his most recent time in Florida, the Knavs family has played a pivotal role in helping raise Barron into the young man many suspect will be taking a more visible role in Trump family appearances in the months to come.

As far back as 2017, it was reported that Mr. and Mrs. Knavs resided in Trump Tower along with Melania and Barron and that they also spent considerable amounts of time in Florida at Mar-a-Lago as well as at their son-in-law's Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Past reporting from the Daily Mail revealed that Mrs. Knavs facilitated Barron's Slovenian language skills at an early age and also served him dishes from her native land.

Described as a humble couple and “not the kind of people to brag,” Melania Trump's parents have long served as a counterbalance in Barron's life to the glitzy Manhattan world of his father's side of the family.

Through all the trials and tribulations that come with being Mrs. Donald Trump, Melania has reportedly held tight to her family, including her parents, both of whom are in the former first lady's true inner circle.

An insider who spoke to PEOPLE earlier this year explained, “Melania's friends are her family members. Many Mar-a-Lago Club members and others know and see Melania. But they aren't friends. They don't get together and gab or socialize. She has always surrounded herself with family.”

The source further noted, “Barron has always been a first priority in [Melania's] life. Of course she is worried and concerned about the legal issues [facing her husband], but she has not done anything more to protect Barron now than she ever did. She has always put him first,” noting that Mr. and Mrs. Knavs “are also close to Barron and have been instrumental in his rearing.”

Both Donald and Melania Trump have been committed to providing Barron with a first-class education, having sent him to pricey institutions such as Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan, St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Maryland, and Oxbridge Academy in Florida, from where he is set to graduate this year.

Though Barron has had an upbringing largely guided on a day-to-day basis by his mother and grandparents, his father has made no secret of the admiration he feels for his young son, telling rally attendees in April that the young man is “smart,” and “will do a good job,” while also marveling at his towering height -- reported to currently stand at 6 feet 7 inches.

Those qualities and more may be coming to the forefront as 2024 progresses, with insiders suggesting that Barron's recent appearance at a Trump family Christmas event at Mar-a-Lago is indicative of a conscious decision on the part of his parents to let him take a more active role in the pivotal year ahead, according to the New York Post.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former top aide to Mrs. Trump opined, “Melania's decision to include Barron in this family activity...might be a significant turning point, potentially fostering a new level of support between Melania and Donald” and added, “Barron's appearance is truly monumental...I believe we will be seeing more of him now. Nothing happens by chance with Melania.”