Throwing open the doors to Mar-a-Lago, the lavish Florida resort owned by her father-in-law US President Donald Trump, pregnant Lara Trump modeled dramatic Oscar Lopez couture in an exclusive HELLO! photoshoot. And her state visit to London was still fresh in her mind as she told us the experience was "made extra special" because of her pregnancy. "Knowing that one day I'll tell this baby about the adventure overseas and all that happened while in my belly made everything all the more meaningful," she told us of the June trip she made with her family including her husband Eric – Donald's son – and her sister-in-law Ivanka. Lara gave birth to a daughter, Carolina Dorothy Trump, on 20 August.
Behind the scenes with Lara Trump
"I never dreamt that I'd have the opportunity to visit Buckingham Palace, meet the Queen and the royal family and attend a state dinner. It was an unforgettable few days." The TV producer certainly took pregnancy in her stride in this stunning shoot, as she models dramatic Oscar López couture at the Palm Beach property that holds a special place in her heart.
MORE: Eric and Lara Trump welcome baby daughter and reveal her sweet name in first photo
She and Eric – parents to 23-monthold Luke – got married there in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in 2014. "I can't visit without thinking about our wedding and so many memorable moments – it's very special to us," she says. "In the chaos of day-to-day life, it's so nice to have a place where we can meet as a family – and it feels like old times, before my father-in-law was President and life was a little bit less hectic."
Lara Trump spoke to HELLO! about her second pregnancy
The 36-year-old is a muse of fashion designer Oscar. "Wearing one of his dresses makes you feel like a princess," she smiles. Oscar is as big a fan of Lara. "Her taste in fashion has always interlaced with the couture fashion I create," he told us. "We have been able to create pieces that will be fused onto American history; from the [President's] inaugural ball to the more intimate pieces she wears for her day-to-day. "It's a pleasure to be able to continue to produce fashion statements with Lara, now and for years to come… My designs have an everpresent wow factor."
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Lara spoke to HELLO! about her UK visit, her pregnancy fitness regime and how she and Eric are helping to prepare Luke to become a big brother. Read the interview below...
Who did you most enjoy meeting on your trip to London, Lara?
"The Queen, of course!"
How is your pregnancy going? Do you feel good?
"This pregnancy is definitely harder than my first. I've been so fortunate to be able to continue to do most of the athletic endeavours that I enjoy for both pregnancies, but I have certainly felt different this time around. They say no two pregnancies are alike – they're right."
"During my last pregnancy, I couldn't get enough pancakes but, for this one, I seem to have a fruit obsession. Mango, pineapple, grapes – especially frozen grapes – are always top of my list."
When is your baby due?
Do you know if you're having a boy or a girl?
You are famously a dog lover. Do you bring the dogs to Mar-a-Lago?
"Of course – in the middle of the cold New York winter, it's as much a treat for them to come down, run on the beach and in the water as it is for all of us."
How have you prepared Luke for the birth?
"Everyone asks me about Luke and if he knows he'll be a big brother. Truth is, at 23 months old, he's more concerned with kicking a soccer ball and zooming his trucks around our home than the new addition coming to our family. We have certainly told him that there's a baby in Mom's belly but I'm not sure he fully appreciates what’s about to happen. He is such a loving, sweet little boy, so I have no doubt he will be an amazing brother."
How do you think you will cope with two?
"I'm slightly terrified as to how it will be. Keeping up with one is a full-time job, let alone two. But I think about military spouses at a time like this – moms and dads whose spouse is overseas serving our country. These incredible parents are taking care of two, three, four or more kids and they're doing it alone. They really inspire me and, whenever I start to get nervous about having a second child, I think: 'If they can do it, I can do it.'"
You're a keen athlete and worked out during your first pregnancy. Will you be working out during the whole of this one too?
"As long as I feel good, I plan to keep working out. I think it helped me mentally and physically during my first pregnancy and I feel the same way now. "I've slowed down quite a bit and can't do everything that I do when not pregnant but, overall, I'm very lucky that I've been able to continue to exercise and do what makes me feel good."
How do you think keeping fit helped with you last birth?
"My son's birth was incredibly long and much, much harder than I ever anticipated. The fact that I was able to stay fit during the pregnancy truly helped me make it through that delivery."
Do you think your fitness helped you regain your pre-baby body more quickly, too?
"It probably did help me to feel like myself again faster but, oddly enough, I thought that would be a major focus of mine after Luke's birth but I found that I really gave myself time and was okay with not 'bouncing back' immediately. Any woman who has given birth knows that your body goes through an incredible amount of trauma and change in such a short amount of time – I was okay with taking it easy and recovering for a while."
Talk us through your fitness routine now…
"These days, my favourite thing to do is swim. I love competing in triathlons and I've always found the swim to be the most challenging part but, at eight months pregnant, it's the one place that I don’t feel as big as I am. I do a lot of cycling classes, lap swimming and lighter weightlifting. I stopped running a few weeks ago, which was a bit of a bummer. I've tried to supplement with the elliptical and stair-climber machines."
What is Eric like as a father? Is he hands-on?
"He's an awesome dad. I always knew he would be. His favourite thing to do with Luke is to tickle and wrestle with him. When he walks in the door from work, Luke is giggling until bedtime. Our weekends are the best because we truly relax as a family. Luke's favourite toys are trucks so I'm fairly certain that my husband will be having Luke driving a tractor or fixing a car in no time."
What has been the highlight of the Trump Presidency for you so far?
"Wow, I'm not even sure how to choose just one thing. I'm so proud of my father-in-law and all that he’s been able to accomplish. I knew that if Americans gave him a chance, he would do an amazing job as our President. It has been incredible to witness how he has improved the lives of all of the people in this country, despite the constant attacks by his opponents and much of the media. Unlike most politicians, he has kept the promises he made in 2016 and our country is thriving."
How do you deal with the criticism thrown your way?
"You have to take it all with a grain of salt, so to speak. I know I'm a good person and I know the things I stand up and fight for every day are right. I also know the mainstream media and the President's opponents are looking for any way to hurt the President, and sometimes that's us. While it’s never fun to see negative things said or written about you, I know who I am and so do my friends and family. At the end of the day, that’s what truly matters."
Lara Trump welcomed her second child with Donald Trump's son, Eric, in August
How does Eric deal with it?
"We both know we're good people and believe in fighting for this country. Sadly, there are people out there who will do anything they can to try to hurt this President and that means even attacking his family. As parents, we always strive to set an example for our son and, by standing up for what we believe in and keeping our heads high, we feel that we do that every day."
Did you have to make many changes to your day-to-day life when Donald became President?
"I think the most notable change has been the fact that we all have Secret Service protection. At first, it's a strange thing to have people with you all the time but the men and women of the United States Secret Service are truly incredible people and we are honoured to have them by our sides every day."
Tell us about Mar-a-Lago, the place where you got married. What do you enjoy most about coming here?
"I love Mar-a-Lago. It's an absolutely beautiful property that truly feels like our second home. I wish we had the opportunity to visit more often. We spend probably four or five weekends here in winter, including Thanksgiving, New Year and Easter."
Has your fashion style changed since you became a mother?
"Not really. I think as we all grow older, our styles evolve – there are things I wore in college that I'd never wear today. I’m proud that even as a mom I can still be stylish and rock a lot of different looks."
Is there a big difference between your on- and off-duty style?
"There's definitely a difference between how I dress on the weekends and how I dress during the week. At weekends and when I'm on vacation, it's all about comfort and chasing a toddler around. While I love feeling chic and sophisticated during the work week, there's nothing quite like putting on a comfy pair of jeans and a tank top when Friday afternoon rolls around."
Who are your favourite designers?
"There are so many. I love Veronica Beard suits, Stella McCartney, Chiara Boni La Petite Robe, Roland Mouret, Carolina Herrera, Alaïa and, of course, Oscar López."
What do you like most about Oscar’s designs?
"They are unpredictable and absolutely beautiful."
How does your style differ from that of your sister-in-law Ivanka?
"Actually, our styles don't differ all that much. I think she has become bolder in her fashion statements and I love how effortlessly she pulls off a look."
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