The former first ladies expected to attend Rosalynn Carter’s funeral

Here are all the first ladies from the United States that are most likely to attend Rosalynn Carter’s funeral

Faiza Saqib
Tuesday 28 November 2023 12:56 GMT
Former US first lady Rosalynn Carter dies aged 96

Former US first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died on 19 November at the age of 96, will be remembered over three days this week in a series of memorial services.

The funeral services will start across Georgia, from Atlanta to her hometown of Plains, where she will be laid to rest.

Ms Carter died shortly after she entered hospice care at home in Plains, alongside her husband, a Democrat who gave his wife a prominent voice during his presidency from 1977 to 1981.

A repose service will be held on Monday, giving members of the public a chance to view the casket and pay their respects.

On Tuesday, a tribute church service will be held for invited guests. On Wednesday, for the final event, Ms Carter’s funeral will be held at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains before an internment at the family residence.

Here are all the first ladies from the United States who are most likely to attend Ms Carter’s funeral.

Jill Biden

First Lady Jill Biden will pay her respects to Lady Carter on Tuesday (PA)

First lady Jill Biden, 72, will be paying her respects to Ms Carter in Georgia on 28 November alongside her husband and US President Joe Biden, 81.

Ms Biden became first lady in 2021 and is known for supporting military families and advocating for increased educational opportunities in the country.

After Ms Carter’s passing, Ms Biden shared a statement on X/Twitter, paying tribute to the former first lady and her legacy.

The statement said: “First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way. My love is with the entire Carter family, as they, and we, grieve our dearest Rosalynn.”

In 2021, POTUS and FLOTUS made a visit to see the Carters in their home in Plains. “We just had a nice time,” Mr Biden said at the time.

The Carter Center posted an image of the couples on their account with the caption: “We’re pleased to share this wonderful photo from the @POTUS and @FLOTUS visit to see the Carters in Plains, Ga.! Thank you President and Mrs. Biden!”

Melania Trump

Melania Trump is also among the first ladies invited to Carter’s funeral (PA)

Melania Trump, 53, is also among the first ladies invited to Ms Carter’s funeral.

Ms Trump served as first lady alongside her husband Donald Trump during his presidency between 2017 to 2021.

During her time as first lady, Ms Trump served as an advocate for children and used her time to help young people navigate the many issues they “face in an ever-changing society.”

In 2018, she announced her campaign “BE BEST” which “strives to promote a world for children based on healthy living, kindness, and respect.”

After Ms Carter’s passing, Ms Trump shared her thoughts on the former first lady.

The statement said: “Rosalynn Carter leaves behind a meaningful legacy not only as First Lady but as a wife and mother. We will always remember her servant’s heart and devotion to her husband, family, and country. May she rest in peace.”

Michelle Obama

Ms Obama paid tribute to Lady Carter (PA)

Michelle Obama, who served as first lady from 2009 to 2017 recounted the special moments she had with Ms Carter.

Ms Obama was the first African-American first lady of the United States. Through her four main initiatives, she became a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.

Remembering Ms Carter and her work, Ms Obama said in a statement: "She reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did. I’ll always remain grateful for her support and her generosity.

"Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting others."

Ms Obama praised the 39th US first lady as a woman who worked to combat the stigma faced by those struggling with their mental health, highlighting that it brought light to so many suffering in silence.

"She advocated for better care for the elderly. She advanced women’s rights. And she remained a champion for those causes, and many others like building affordable housing for those in need and caring for our nation’s caregivers."

Laura Bush

Laura Bush served as the first lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009. (PA)

Laura Bush, 77, is wife of George W Bush and served as the first lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009.

Ms Bush was in the White House for eight years and is a former teacher and librarian.

She was also a “key advocate of the President’s historic education reform – the No Child Left Behind Act – and a staunch supporter of NCLB’s Reading First program, which is the largest early reading initiative in American history,” the White House website states.

In a joint statement with former President George W Bush, the couple said they were “saddened” by the passing of Ms Carter.

They added: “She was a woman of dignity and strength. There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity.

“She leaves behind an important legacy in her work to destigmatize mental health. We join our fellow citizens in sending our condolences to President Carter and their family.”

Hilary Clinton

Hillary Clinton served as the First Lady of the United States to the 42nd President (PA Media)

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, 76, served as the first lady of the United States to the 42nd President, Bill Clinton between 1993 to 2001.

She went on to become a US secretary of state and US senator from New York. In the 2008 election, Ms Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

After Ms Carter’s passing, the Clintons released a joint statement remembering the former lady as a “compassionate” and “committed” champion.

The statement continued: “Throughout her long, remarkable life, she was an unwavering voice for the overlooked and underrepresented. Thanks to her mental health advocacy, more people live with better care and less stigma. Because of her early leadership on childhood immunization, millions of Americans have grown up healthier.

“And through her decades of work at the Carter Center and with Habitat for Humanity, she spread hope, health, and democracy across the globe. Rosalynn will be forever remembered as the embodiment of a life lived with purpose.

“Hillary and I are deeply grateful for her extraordinary service to our nation and world, and for more than forty years of friendship. Our prayers are with President Carter, Jack, Chip, Jeff, Amy, and the entire Carter family,” they added.

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