“Per Vatican protocol, women who have an audience with the Pope are required to wear long sleeves, formal black clothing, and a veil to cover the head,” Stephanie Grisham, spokesperson for the First Lady, said in a statement to CNN.
Both Melania and Ivanka Trump eschewed headscarves during their recent visit to Saudi Arabia, a conservative Muslim country where women are expected to wear headscarves. The move contradicted President Donald Trump’s old criticism of former First Lady Michelle Obama for making a similar decision.
Obama opted not to wear a headscarf in Saudi Arabia in 2015, but she wore a black veil and a black dress when she met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2009.
While the dress code for papal audiences has received a good deal of attention, it’s possible Pope Francis has taken a more relaxed approach in recent years.
“Things have become more relaxed over the last few years. There are no hard and fast rules,” a spokesperson for the Vatican told The Telegraph last month, after Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wore a champagne-colored dress and no veil while meeting the Pope at the Vatican.
This Story Originally Appeared On Time