Melania Trump maintains protective role even as Barron Trump enters adulthood

Former – and possibly future – first son Barron Trump recently celebrated his 18th birthday, and despite his entrance into adulthood, it appears that his mother, Melania Trump, continues to be a strong, guiding presence in his life, one that has thus far been somewhat removed from the larger family whirl.

With high school graduation now in the rearview mirror, Barron Trump is planning his next steps, though some insiders have suggested that his mother is hoping he remains in the protective bubble she has built for just a little longer, as the Daily Mail reports.

“Regal” young man emerges

No matter how immersed in the public spotlight the rest of the Trump family has long been, Melania Trump has developed a reputation as a private person who did all she could to offer her son a normal life free from undue public scrutiny.

That approach has been especially apparent in recent weeks, as Donald Trump has been mired in a New York criminal trial, which neither Melania nor Barron have attended.

Barron, it seems, has grown to favor his mother's approach to the press, though whether that pattern continues as he grows into his own remains an open question.

A source with intimate knowledge of the Trump family told the Mail of Barron, “He's so regal. He's a little Melania,” but his true personality, perhaps by design, is still something of an enigma.

Easing into the role?

Melania Trump has dipped her toe in the campaign waters on behalf of her husband only when necessary or important, and though she has always seemed to want the same for her son, there were signs late last year of a potentially more public role for the young man.

Back in December, Barron was seen in publicly released photos taken at a Mar-a-Lago holiday party, images that Mrs. Trump almost certainly had to greenlight, according to insiders. Observers speculated that the release was a sign that Barron was on the cusp of greater visibility as his father pursued another term in the Oval Office.

The same sentiment came to the forefront again in recent weeks, when reports emerged that Barron had been selected to serve as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, an opportunity Mrs. Trump's office later said he had to decline due to prior commitments.

Even though he will not have an official role at the convention, Barron has reportedly been seen mingling with high-profile visitors to his father's resort, and those who have engaged with him note his keen interest in politics and easy conversational style.

Future looks bright

Barron Trump graduated from Florida's Oxbridge Academy last week, and while no formal announcement of his next move has yet been made, speculation about his future abounds, particularly with regard to whether he will join the family business or forge his own path, perhaps inspired by his mother.

Rumors have circulated that Barron was contemplating enrollment at New York University, though the University of Pennsylvania – attended by many of his Trump relatives – was also reportedly in the running.

Others have suggested that Barron is considering a gap year, and his father recently stated that his son has begun “looking at some colleges that are different than they were two months ago,” which could be an indication that a delay is indeed on the cards.

Though Barron Trump is a young man with the world at his feet, given his close relationship and seemingly shared priorities with his notoriously private mother, it seems likely that his next moves in life will be the result of thoughtful deliberation and careful planning.