On Tuesday, the former first lady, 72, took members of her family, including new son-in-law Craig Coyne, on a tour of the White House, where she and husband George W. Bush lived during his two terms in office from 2001 to 2009. The visit took place after Melania Trump extended an invitation to the Bush family to see this year’s “American Treasures”-themed holiday decorations.
“A sweet visit during this somber week,” Mrs. Bush wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of the 20 relatives who all posed in front of the 41st president’s White House portrait.
“Thanks to Mrs. Trump for inviting our family to the White House to see the Christmas decorations and our old friends, the residence staff,” she continued in her caption.
Also pictured were former first daughter Dorothy Bush Koch as well 41’s grandchildren.
Bush died late on Friday night at age 94. His spokesperson Jim McGrath confirmed the news, writing in a statement, “George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two siblings.”
“He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline ‘Robin’ Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or ‘Bucky’ Bush,” the statement continued.
After the White House tour, Mrs. Bush joined her husband across the street outside the Blair House where they met with Melania and Donald Trump.
The meeting of past and present presidential couples came hours after Trump announced on Twitter that they would gather at the official guest residence.
“Looking forward to being with the wonderful Bush family at Blair House today. The former First Lady will be coming over to the White House this morning to be given a tour of the Christmas decorations by Melania. The elegance & precision of the last two days have been remarkable!” the 45th president wrote early Tuesday morning.
Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the White House and Blair House meetings.
The ritual and protocol of a state funeral also forced a graciously Bush-style cordiality between his family and President Trump, who has crudely insulted them for years.
“The mean Twitters and the name-calling—Bush found that gauche and that is why Barbara Bush did not want Trump at her funeral,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, a Houston friend of the family tells PEOPLE.
But for his own services, Bush recently told his former vice president, Dan Quayle, that Trump would be welcomed. “He mentioned having Trump at his funeral because it is protocol and George had deep respect for the office of the presidency—so he would have it no other way,” Quayle tells PEOPLE. Adds former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, also a friend, Bush “placed a high value on courtesy. He was typical of the World War II generation— humble, gracious and decent.”
Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Trump’s friendship was first formed after the January 2017 inauguration. “I’ve talked to Melania. I’ve been back and had tea with her,” the mother of two told CNN in November 2017, adding that Melania has “done a lovely job” as first lady and that she is a “wonderful representative for the United States.”
The Bushes have been in Washington D.C. for memorial services honoring the former commander-in-chief, whose body is lying in state at the Capitol Rotunda ahead of private services Wednesday at National Cathedral.
On Monday, many members of the Bush family mourned their late patriarch at the state funeral where they were joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The 41st president’s body will remain on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Capitol Rotunda through 7 a.m. ET Wednesday, as it will stay open to accommodate public mourners.
Bush’s state funeral will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET. In a presidential proclamation, Trump declared that Wednesday would be dedicated to Bush’s memory and that flags should be lowered to half-staff in his honor for 30 days.