Dignitaries from across the country gathered at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday to say goodbye to the former first lady and first mother Barbara Bush. The matriarch of the Bush family passed away at the age of 92 on Tuesday.
In attendance were President Bill Clinton, first lady Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and his first lady, Michelle Obama. The couples were seated in the front row of the church next to first lady Melania Trump, who was unaccompanied, after president Trump decided to not attend to “avoid disruptions.”
The president tweeted that he would be watching from his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Heading to the Southern White House to watch the Funeral Service of Barbara Bush. First Lady Melania has arrived in Houston to pay our respects. Will be a beautiful day!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
While many attendees honored Bush by wearing her favorite color, royal blue, Melania, Michelle, and Hillary all chose to wear black.
Melania Trump opted for a black classic three-quarter sleeves blazer and pencil skirt. She looked elegant, holding a small black clutch. She wore her hair down, styled with loose curls through her blond ends.
Hillary Clinton wore a black and white bouclé jacket, which she wore unbuttoned over a black dress. Her short hair was styled back, showing off sparkling stud earrings, and she wore a Chanel bag over her shoulder.
Michelle Obama paid her respects as well, wearing a black belted dress.
In a touching moment before the start of the first eulogy, Bush’s granddaughters recited Bible verses. Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, struggled to hold back tears as she spoke.
Jenna was accompanied at the altar by other grandchildren of Bush, including her twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush. Jenna wore a conservative black turtleneck dress, while Barbara showed off her arms and chest in a fit and flare dress with a plunging neckline.
Their mother, Laura Bush, also a former first lady, was also holding back tears for her mother-in-law. She wore a black blazer and skirt with a statement pearl necklace.
Over 1,500 friends of the former first lady were in attendance at the private ceremony. No first lady has ever been given an official state funeral. First ladies are generally accorded the same courtesies as military family members at Arlington National Cemetery, meaning that the family can request military body bearers and a military chaplain, according to the Defense Department .
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