Melania Trump Stars, stripes and singing in next First Lady's hometown

What her new job as only the second foreign-born US first lady will mean for Sevnica is unclear.

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Slovenian and US national flags in Sevnica, hometown of Melania Trump, on television, November 9, 2026 play

Slovenian and US national flags in Sevnica, hometown of Melania Trump, on television, November 9, 2026

(AFP)
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The Stars and Stripes fluttered, champagne flowed and songs were sung Wednesday in Sevnica, the small Slovenian hometown of the next US First Lady Melania Trump, although mostly local residents were nonplussed.

Overnight all was quiet in the town of 5,000 people better known previously for its lingerie and furniture factories and a 900-year-old castle, but at 4:00 am (0300 GMT) the Cafe Central opened its doors.

The small establishment near the railway station soon filled up, echoing with the sound of champagne corks popping and people applauding and laughing as Donald Trump's shock victory began to take shape.

"He has won!" said one man when Trump's triumph was confirmed. "Great, super!" cried three women sitting by a table near the counter. "Bravo! Bravo, We've won!" others cheered.

Among the patrons were Sevnica's mayor Srecko Ocvirk, who lately had started to tire of the attention, and joyous local resident Janko Rezec, who said he is friends with Viktor Knavs, Melania Trump's entrepreneur father.

Sevnica residents celebrate Donald trump's victory on November 9, 2016 play

Sevnica residents celebrate Donald trump's victory on November 9, 2016

(AFP)

"During the campaign, Melania was often unfairly treated, the media looked only for her negative side, rather than the positive," Rezec told AFP.

"I believe the whole (Trump) campaign has already been good for Sevnica. We have been raided by journalists and media... Now I'm convinced things will only get better."

'A nose for the perfect husband'

Then came the main event. Outside the cafe a small, blue crane was used to unfurl four flags: the Slovenian, the European Union, the town's and -- twice the size of the others -- the US Stars and Stripes.

A folk music group in Sevnica praised Melania trump's "nose for the perfect husband" play

A folk music group in Sevnica praised Melania trump's "nose for the perfect husband"

(AFP)

A local folk music group, Slavcek (The Little Nightingales), then performed -- with the smiling mayor standing by -- a special song for Sevnica's most famous daughter.

"We are great and have a lot. In fact we're doing real good. If we only had a first lady, everything would be perfect," they sang, praising Melania's "nose for the perfect husband".

Even the sun came out. The crowd was modest, however, numbering 40 or 50 at the most, plus around 30 journalists. And for the most part locals are far from overjoyed.

A survey in October suggested only 22 percent of people in the former Yugoslav republic of two million people wanted Trump as president, sharing the scepticism of many Europeans about the Republican billionaire.

"I believe it's only temporary excitement (with Melania becoming first lady), we'll still have to see what's going to happen," Valentina, an unemployed 52-year-old, told AFP.

"It's going to be hard... for Europe, he (Trump) never cared about Europe," she said.

However, the ex-communist country's Prime Minister Miro Cerar -- not in Sevnica -- sounded an optimistic note.

"In a way Slovenia has a first lady now," he said. "Due to his wife's origin, Mr Trump will be better informed about events in Slovenia."

Queen of the castle

Srecko Ocvirk has lately started to tire of the attention on Sevnica play

Srecko Ocvirk has lately started to tire of the attention on Sevnica

(AFP)

Born Melanija Knavs, Melania's modelling career took off in her late teens when she was noticed by a fashion photographer in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Sevnica.

Soon she was living the high life, jetting all over the world and settling in New York where she met her future husband, 24 years her senior, in 1998. She became his third wife in 2005 and in 2006 took US citizenship.

What her new job as only the second foreign-born US first lady will mean for Sevnica is unclear. Local media have speculated that a street or a local school could be renamed after the 46-year-old.

On April 1, the mayor announced that the Trumps would come to Sevnica to buy the castle and inaugurate a monument to Melania. It was only an April Fool's joke, but there was some wishful thinking involved too.

"A fragment of that story might become true," Ocvirk said at the time.

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