Twitter users were baffled by a young boy sitting next to Melania Trump during her husband's State of the Union address on Tuesday night (30 January) - as it looked like the family had "recast" their young son Barron.

The 11-year-old was absent from the address - White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday that all of the president's other children would attend the address, but did not explain why Barron would not be there.

The First Lady was instead sitting next to a young boy who looked strangely similar to Barron, of a comparable age and hair colour. TV writer Jess Dweck tweeted: "I can't believe they recast Barron."

Others also marveled at the similarity, joking that it was season two and placing photos of the two boys side by side to show the character's evolution. The situation was compared to the abrupt and unexplained change in actress of Becky in season six of the popular 80s/90s comedy Roseanne, and the change of actor playing Darrin in Bewitched: "If there can be two Darrins there can be two Barrons."

It was also joked that the new boy "looks much happier than Barron ever did in a photo" because he does not have to go home with Donald Trump.

Melania Trump's neighbour was in fact 12-year-old Preston Sharp, who was being honoured for his work paying tribute US veterans for more than two years. Trump told the House in his address: "Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans' graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day.

"He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. Preston - a job well done."

The president continued: "Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem."

It followed a jokey internet conspiracy theory that Trump was accompanied to an event in October by a Melania Trump doppelganger wearing shades and long hair which some speculated could be a wig. However, this was quickly debunked. It was, of course, the real first lady all along.