[EDITORIAL NOTE:  The following article first appeared in New York Post.  It was reprinted on February 15, 2017 in News Corp. It also appeared in Post Digital Network’s DECIDER.  The author has taken considerable material from a US Weekly article.  We re-print it, acknowledging all of the aforementioned sources.  We took our manuscript from the internet and will assume it is in the public domain unless otherwise notified.]  

Melania Trump is secretly miserable as first lady, a new report claims.

Private, self-conscious, and smarting from some harsh, even mocking press, Melania is “struggling with the realities of her new role and the scrutiny that comes with it,” US Weekly says in its Feb. 27 cover story, citing family sources.

“This life wasn’t her dream. It was Donald’s,” a Trump family friend, stylist Phillip Bloch, told the magazine.

THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY

“Truthfully, it’s a lot to cope with.”

Since Inauguration Day, Melania has spent almost all her time hiding inside the “gilded cage” of the family’s lavish, $100 million Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue — where treasured son Barron, 10, has a whole floor to himself.

And she won’t be pressured into giving up her privacy.

Recently, the White House team begged her to come to Washington and give her husband a PR boost by presiding over the traditional first lady tours at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — and posing for press photos, sources told US.

“She was told, ‘All you need to do is show up on one day and take photos,'” one family source said. Melania declined.

Melania couldn’t even be cajoled into accompanying the Japanese prime minister’s wife, Abe, on the traditionally first lady-hosted Capitol tour for spouses of visiting dignitaries.

Negative scrutiny from late-night hosts — Jimmy Kimmel quipped last week that she’s “trapped like Rapunzel” in Trump Tower — and from her libel suit against the UK’s Daily Mail have not helped.

In the much-covered lawsuit, Melania sued the Mail for implying she’d once worked as a high-end escort, an implication that the newspaper later retracted.

Celebrities and fashion designers, critical of her husband’s policies, have publicly shunned the Trumps, another blow.

US WEEKLY COVER

And while she’s fluent in five languages, Melania is self-conscious of her heavy Slovenian accent, US claims, an accent that has also been fodder for late-night jibes.

With pickets surrounding her building, she’s even given up her chauffeured trips escorting Barron to and from his private school.

After school, they both stay in, with Barron doing his homework and watching cartoons, US said.

She’s happiest at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where she joins her husband on most weekends.

But while she did entertain Akie Abe in Florida — smilingly posed for the requisite photo op at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in nearby Delray Beach — it was a struggle.

“Don’t let her smile [in the photographs] fool you,” the source said. “She hates this.”

The source added, “Melania is unhappy with how her life ended up.  She is miserable.”