What was in gift box for Michelle Obama?

Mrs Trump's presentation of the gift to Mrs Obama resulted in a brief awkward moment.
Mrs Trump's presentation of the gift to Mrs Obama resulted in a brief awkward moment.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • As United States President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrived at the White House on Friday morning to begin the inauguration ceremonies, Mrs Trump presented outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama with a blue box from Tiffany & Co.

The gesture left many people wondering: What was inside?

When contacted, Tiffany & Co declined to reveal the box's possible contents, saying it does not comment on "the purchases of clients out of respect for their privacy".

Mr Nathan Strauss, Tiffany's director of corporate communications, wrote in an e-mail to The New York Times: "The White House has been a patron of the house of Tiffany & Co since Abraham Lincoln." He did not elaborate.

Based on the size of the rectangular box, some observers guessed that the gift was a picture frame, a silver tray, a clock or even playing cards.

The gift's arrival seemed unexpected and it briefly created an awkward moment as Mrs Obama tried to figure out what to do with it. Outgoing president Barack Obama then stepped in and handed the gift to someone else.

The mystery created a buzz on social media, with many users taking to Twitter with memes and GIFs featuring photos of Mrs Obama's expression as she accepted the box. Some said she "did not seem impressed", while others begged to know what she had received.

Tiffany & Co has a flagship store next to the Trump Tower in Manhattan.

In 2009, Mrs Obama also presented a gift to outgoing first lady Laura Bush on Mr Obama's inauguration day - a leather-bound journal and an engraved silver pen from jewellery store Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, according to Politico.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 22, 2017, with the headline 'What was in gift box for Michelle Obama?'. Subscribe