Barron Trump Celebrates 18th Birthday as College Decision Looms Ahead

Barron was just 10 when his father was elected president. Now, after years of lying low, his ongoing college search and another presidential campaign could send him back into public view

<p>GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images</p> Donald Trump (left) and his son Barron Trump

GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump (left) and his son Barron Trump

Barron Trump — son of former first couple Donald and Melania Trump — turned 18 years old on Wednesday, celebrating his birthday away from the limelight that often surrounds his famous family.

Born in 2006, Barron spent most of his childhood at the Trumps' lavish New York City penthouse, initially staying behind with his mother in Manhattan when Donald began his presidential term in January 2017.

As Donald himself explained at the time, Barron was hesitant to make the move so young and disrupt his daily life.

“He has a very good school in New York where he has a lot of friends," Donald told PEOPLE during his first presidential campaign. "But I tell him if this happens, Daddy will help people, and can help children like him, and that makes him happy. He’s a young boy who is 9 years old and he is strong and smart and he gets it. He sees it.”

Related: How Donald Trump Told PEOPLE That Son Barron Found a White House Move 'a Little Scary'

Ultimately, after finishing the school year, Barron enrolled at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Maryland and officially moved into the White House with the rest of the family.

Following the end of his father's presidential term in 2021, Barron transferred to the Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida, where he will be graduating with the class of 2024.

Related: Barron Trump Has Fierce Defenders in Clinton, Bush Kids

<p>GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images</p> Donald Trump (left), Barron Trump

GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump (left), Barron Trump

Both during and after life in the White House, Barron has lived primarily outside of the spotlight, and is known to have a close bond with his mother, 52, and his grandfather, Victor Knavs, who lives at Mar-a-Lago near his daughter and grandson.

Barron was also close with his grandmother, Amalija Knavs, who died in January at age 78, and was recently photographed attending her funeral along with two of his adult half-siblings: Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump, who attended with her husband, Jared Kushner.

Related: Melania Trump Will Always Choose Son Barron over Politics: 'She Dislikes a Petting Zoo' (Exclusive)

As a social source recently told PEOPLE, much of Barron's life of late has been focused on looking at colleges for his next chapter — and his mother is very involved in the process.

“Melania’s main job is taking care of Barron, and I think it’s possible that she will follow him wherever he goes to school,” the social source told PEOPLE. “Barron is shy and reserved, and she has been a good mother to him all of these years.”

The source added: “Melania is all about Barron and her family. She has always been family-oriented, and in addition to some of the charity work she has done, staying ahead of family issues is her priority. She has a good life.”

Related: Melania Trump Is 'Very Protective' of Barron and Spends Little Time Making Friends at Mar-a-Lago: Sources

<p>Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images</p> Melania Trump (L) looks at her son Barron Trump

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Melania Trump (L) looks at her son Barron Trump

And while much of Barron's private life has been heavily guarded, his mother has spoken publicly about parenting her only child.

“As a mother … I know what goes into raising a child. It takes an incredible amount of strength, a lot of time, a generous amount of patience, and all of our love,” Melania said in remarks at a Mother’s Day event held in 2018.

Barron's off-camera life could receive more public scrutiny once he graduates high school and attends college — particularly as his father is currently running another presidential campaign and is already the presumptive GOP nominee for the presidency in 2024.

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