Ivanka Trump’s children play with White House turkey at pardoning ceremony

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s children made sure the White House turkey was given plenty of extra attention at the annual pardoning ceremony this year, taking time to play with and pet the big bird before it was officially spared by President Donald Trump

The family of five were dressed to the nines for the traditional event – which they skipped last year – where they took front row seats, watching on as Trump pardoned the chosen bird in front of a limited and socially-distanced crowd. 

But social distance went out of the window when it came to Corn the turkey, with both Arabella, nine, and her younger brother Theodore, four, getting up close and personal with their new feathered friend – under the very watchful eye of a Secret Service agent, who stood alongside the kids as they stroked the large bird. 

Family affair: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner brought all three of their children to the annual turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House on Tuesday afternoon

Family affair: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner brought all three of their children to the annual turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House on Tuesday afternoon 

Playtime! Their eldest Arabella, nine, and youngest child Theodore, four, were seen playing with the chosen turkey - Corn - ahead of the official pardon

Playtime! Their eldest Arabella, nine, and youngest child Theodore, four, were seen playing with the chosen turkey – Corn – ahead of the official pardon 

New pet? Ivanka, 39, and Jared, 39, watched on happily as two of their kids said hello to Corn, with seven-year-old son Joseph choosing to hang back with them while his siblings played

New pet? Ivanka, 39, and Jared, 39, watched on happily as two of their kids said hello to Corn, with seven-year-old son Joseph choosing to hang back with them while his siblings played

Feathered friend: Both Arabella and Theo seemed perfectly at ease with the bird, however they were closely watched by a Secret Service agent and an aide while playing with Corn

Feathered friend: Both Arabella and Theo seemed perfectly at ease with the bird, however they were closely watched by a Secret Service agent and an aide while playing with Corn

Nice to meet you: All three children were seen carefully petting the turkey alongside their mother before the event

Nice to meet you: All three children were seen carefully petting the turkey alongside their mother before the event 

Greetings! Although he hung back from playing with Corn on the lawn, Joseph (seen bottom) had the chance to say hello as the family made their way out onto the White House lawn

Greetings! Although he hung back from playing with Corn on the lawn, Joseph (seen bottom) had the chance to say hello as the family made their way out onto the White House lawn

But while Arabella and Theo seemed thrilled to get the chance to spend time with Corn at the event, their brother Joseph, seven, was more hesitant, choosing instead to sit back with his parents while his siblings played with the Iowan bird on the White House lawn. 

Joseph, who took the chance to say hello to Corn when the family first arrived at the event, was seen perched on his dad’s lap, watching on as his brother and sister hung out with the turkey – before they too joined their parents in the front row, where they watched as their grandfather made his annual pardoning speech. 

Having skipped the event last year, when they are understood to have spent time with 39-year-old Jared’s family for the holiday, the family pulled out all the stops for this year’s turkey pardoning, which may well be their last given that President-Elect Joe Biden will likely be responsible for next year’s pardon. 

Ivanka, 39, put on a very chic show in a white pantsuit, which featured a form-fitting long-sleeved shirt and a pair of wide-legged trousers. She completed her look with a sparkling brooch and a blue floral face mask, ensuring that she followed CDC recommendations in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The rest of her family followed suit, adding face coverings to their ensembles, and in many cases ensuring that the protective gear perfectly matched their choice of outfit.  

Easy does it: The children didn't seem to have a care in the world as they petted Corn, however the Secret Service agent accompanying them didn't divert his attention for a minute

Easy does it: The children didn’t seem to have a care in the world as they petted Corn, however the Secret Service agent accompanying them didn’t divert his attention for a minute 

Group: Arabella and Theo were also joined by an aide who made sure they were perfectly safe

Group: Arabella and Theo were also joined by an aide who made sure they were perfectly safe

Watch out! Theo appeared delighted with his new playmate, and was seen running around happily with the bird before joining his family in their front-row seats

Watch out! Theo appeared delighted with his new playmate, and was seen running around happily with the bird before joining his family in their front-row seats

Watch out! Theo appeared delighted with his new playmate, and was seen running around happily with the bird before joining his family in their front-row seats 

Cuddles: Joseph sat in Jared's lap holding his hands, while Theo was perched on Ivanka's knees during the ceremony

Cuddles: Joseph sat in Jared’s lap holding his hands, while Theo was perched on Ivanka’s knees during the ceremony

Affection: Ivanka was seen playfully adjusting her younger son's face mask, before brushing his short hair into place

Affection: Ivanka was seen playfully adjusting her younger son's face mask, before brushing his short hair into place

Affection: Ivanka was seen playfully adjusting her younger son’s face mask, before brushing his short hair into place 

Jared chose a navy design to match his navy overcoat and suit, while his sons both looked incredibly dapper in matching blue duffel coats and pale blue ties. 

Arabella meanwhile was dressed to the nines in a sweet navy coat with red trim, which she wore over a coordinating red dress. 

Ivanka looked thrilled to be enjoying the day with her children, and was seen cuddling her youngest, Theo, who sat happily in his mother’s lap during the ceremony. 

At one point she was pictured leaning over and playfully adjusting her son’s face mask, before leaning over to hold hands with Arabella, who was seated alongside her mother in a socially-distanced chair.   

Joseph meanwhile sat happily in his dad’s lap, holding his hands as they watched President Trump and First Lady Melania up on stage performing the official pardon. 

Before last year, the ceremony had been a regular part of Ivanka and Jared’s Thanksgiving celebrations with their children – and the kids were often seen playing with the chosen bird before it was given its pardon.  

Arrival: The three Trump-Kushner children wore navy outfits, coordinating with their dad's suit, while Ivanka looked chic in a white pantsuit

Arrival: The three Trump-Kushner children wore navy outfits, coordinating with their dad’s suit, while Ivanka looked chic in a white pantsuit

Popular: Even Ivanka took the opportunity to pet Corn before the pardoning took place, while her husband Jared hung back with son Joseph

Popular: Even Ivanka took the opportunity to pet Corn before the pardoning took place, while her husband Jared hung back with son Joseph

Style star: Ivanka pulled out all the stops for the event, donning stylish all-white ensemble and styling her blonde hair into loose waves

Style star: Ivanka pulled out all the stops for the event, donning stylish all-white ensemble and styling her blonde hair into loose waves

Style star: Ivanka pulled out all the stops for the event, donning stylish all-white ensemble and styling her blonde hair into loose waves

Safety first: All five of the Trump-Kushner family wore protective face masks for the event

Safety first: All five of the Trump-Kushner family wore protective face masks for the event

However in 2019, the family is understood to have spent the holiday with Jared’s family, skipping both the turkey pardoning ceremony, and the Trumps’ traditional Thanksgiving fun at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. 

In honor of the special occasion, Ivanka took to Instagram on Monday evening to share images of turkey pardoning ceremonies from years gone by, posting several images of her children playing with past birds on the White House lawn. 

‘Tomorrow marks over 30 years of the annual Presidential Turkey Pardoning,’ she wrote. ‘This time of year always brings back wonderful memories at the White House.’ 

This year’s chosen bird and its alternate, Cob, both of which are Broad-Breasted White Turkeys, arrived in Washington, D.C. on Monday night, having traveled from their home state of Iowa ahead of the ceremony. 

Several fun facts about the birds were released ahead of the event, and members of the public were given the chance to vote for the turkey that they wished to see pardoned – although both Corn and Cob will be spared as part of the tradition.  

Both turkeys were born on July 2 of this year, but Corn is a shade thicker, at 42 pounds versus Cob’s 41 pounds.

Memories: Ivanka took to Instagram on Monday to share images of her family at past turkey pardoning ceremonies, including this snap from 2018

Memories: Ivanka took to Instagram on Monday to share images of her family at past turkey pardoning ceremonies, including this snap from 2018

Pal: The Trump-Kushner children have always said hello to the chosen turkey when attending the ceremony in the past

Pal: The Trump-Kushner children have always said hello to the chosen turkey when attending the ceremony in the past

Family: In 2017, Ivanka and Arabella wore matching red ensembles - coordinating with Ivanka's half-sister Tiffany

Family: In 2017, Ivanka and Arabella wore matching red ensembles – coordinating with Ivanka’s half-sister Tiffany 

Corn’s favorite snack is sweet corn, while Cob likes soy beans; Corn is more chatty, while Cob is ‘Type A’; Corn is a college football fan, while Cob likes pickleball.

Corn was hoping to visit the Iowa State Fair, while Cob was more interested in the D.C. monuments, according to the White House’s website. 

The National Turkey Federation told DailyMail.com that the two turkeys will reside at Iowa State University after they’re pardoned. 

During the event, President Trump thanked Corn, waving his hand over the turkey, while saying: ‘Corn I hereby grant you a full pardon, thank you Corn.’ 

The president peppered his remarks with points he had made earlier on Tuesday during a brief appearance at the White House podium – touting the stock market high and coronavirus vaccines that will soon be made available.

‘It’s just such a tremendous feeling,’ the president said.

He also thanked first responders and doctors and nurses.

‘Once again Melania and I wish to thank everybody for your incredible courtesies and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving,’he added.