Amalija Knavs, the mother of former US first lady Melania Trump, has died at the age of 78.
Melania was missing from a Trump family Christmas photo featuring her husband, former President Donald Trump, and three of his five children because she had been at Knavs’ side in the hospital.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija,” Trump wrote on X Tuesday.
“Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity. She was entirely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson, and son-in-law. We will miss her beyond measure and continue to honor and love her legacy.”
Melania Trump did not disclose a cause of death.
Melania maintained a close relationship with her mother and her father, Viktor Knavs, 79. The Knavses had both been living at Mar-a-Lago in recent years, where the former first lady and the former president also reside.
“[Amalija] has an excellent relationship with Melania and with Barron,” a source close to the family told PEOPLE. “They love her. She is unselfish and takes care of the family. Melania has always been super good with her mom as well as Barron.”
The source added that Barron, in particular, has grown close to Amalija. “There have been times when Barron has been with his grandparents more than with Melania, and a lot more than with Donald.”
Melania’s parents hail from present-day Slovenia, where Melania was born April 1970, according to the White House Historical Association. Amalija is a former textile worker and Viktor a former car dealer.