President Donald Trump and first lady Melania won’t be in attendance at this year’s Met Gala. But the event ― an A-list fundraiser benefitting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute ― holds special significance for the couple, who got engaged on the night of the ball back in 2004.

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Donald Trump and Melania arriving at the 2004 Met Gala.

Thirteen years ago, on April 26, 2004, Trump proposed to Melania with a 15-carat, emerald-cut diamond ring worth $1.5 million (though Trump told The New York Times he only paid half as much for it). 

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A close-up view of the engagement ring Trump gave to then-girlfriend Melania Knauss at the ‘Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century’ Costume Institute benefit gala.

“It was a great surprise. We are very happy together,” Melania told the New York Post of the engagement at the time.

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The newly engaged couple posing with Ivanka Trump. 

During an appearance on “Live with Regis and Kelly” days after the proposal, Trump shared a similar sentiment. 

“Well, we’ve had a great relationship, we’ve been together for five years and it was really time,” he said. “And you know Melania is a great woman, a great person and I’m really happy about it.”

Trump met Melania, his third wife, at a Fashion Week party in 1998, although he was dating someone else at the time.

“He wanted my number, but he was with a date, so of course I didn’t give it to him,” the first lady recalled in a 2016 Harper’s Bazaar interview. “I said, ‘I am not giving you my number; you give me yours, and I will call you.’ I wanted to see what kind of number he would give me — if it was a business number, what is this? I’m not doing business with you.”

Trump gave her all of his numbers. She gave him a call days later and was “struck by his energy.”

The Trumps were married on Jan. 22, 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida in front of famous faces such as P. Diddy, Heidi Klum, the Clintons, Barbara Walters and Simon Cowell. They celebrated their 12-year wedding anniversary this year. 

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