The President's Mother: New documentary explores the fascinating life story of Mary MacLeod, the Scottish Mother of President Donald Trump.
In a new documentary for Irish TV station TG4, Síle Nic Chonaonaigh explores the fascinating life story of Mary MacLeod the Scottish mother of President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, December 11, US and Irish viewers will be able to watch online for free as Nic Chonaonaigh follows MacLeod's journey from her childhood Scottish Village, on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides to her marriage into one of the wealthiest property development families in New York.
Mary Anne MacLeod was from the Hebrides, off the Scottish Highlands coast, where Gaelic was spoken by both of her parents, who passed it on to her.
Mary Anne was born there in 1912 and moved to America where she met and married Fred Trump, Donald's father. She brought Donald back to Scotland when he was very young. He has since visited with his sister.
As a Scottish heritage site put it: "Mary Anne was born in the village of Tong, in the parish of Stornoway on 10th May 1912, to a fisherman named Malcolm MacLeod and his wife, Mary Smith.
"This couple had been married in 1891 and both were Gaelic speakers, and, although not so widespread as it once was, the language is still alive and well in that region.
"It is thus likely that Mary Anne herself would have spoken it and the young Donald may well have been soothed by Gaelic lullabies as a child."
Criss-crossing the Atlantic, the show says it will give a personal portrait of the woman who was the mother to a future President. While we all know about Donald Trump and his Father background little is known about his late Mother’s background. Mary MacLeod was raised in the remote Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides and was one of the thousands of immigrants who left the Island for America in search of a better life.
While Donald Trump made few mentions of his late mother while he was a property and media mogul as President, he does often reference his Scottish roots.
Running like a thread through the documentary is the story of a very special friendship, between Mary Anne MacLeod and Agnes Stiven, her teenage penpal, from the east coast city of Dundee, who in later life wrote a beautiful memoir of their relationship.
Through pictures and letters, the documentary follows the blossoming friendship between the two young Scots and recounts their meetings as they each prepared to travel abroad and marry; Mary to America and Agnes to pre-war 1930s Germany. Interrupted by war and the tides of history, the two friends lost contact with each other until 60 years later when Donald Trump was being interviewed on UK television and coincidentally mentioned his mother came from a Scottish island and that her name was Mary Anne MacLeod.
The strong bond, the separation and the reunion of two lifelong friends, as they each approached their final furlong, is told by Cathy Brett, an artist, and illustrator who has been inspired by the incredible life her grand-mother Agnes lived.
The enduring power of this special friendship provides a brilliant emotional spine that gives viewers an echo and a direct insight into the great European migration of the 20th century and modern-day America that Mary Anne MacLeod played such an important part in shaping.
You can watch "Máthair Trump" (Trump's Mother) for free online on Wednesday, December 11, at 16:30 EST, or 21:30 GMT
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