Priscilla Presley was the only wife of Elvis Presley. After a courtship that lasted eight years, Elvis and Priscilla married in 1973. Soon after, the couple welcomed a baby girl, Lisa Marie Presley, making their family complete.
Unfortunately, Elvis and Priscilla’s only lasted for six years. However, Priscilla opened up about her romance with Elvis years after he died in 1977.
How Priscilla Presley met Elvis Presley
Priscilla was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 24, 1945. Her mother remarried three years later when Priscilla’s biological father, James Wagner, died in a plane crash. The Dallas actor took her stepfather, Paul Beaulieu’s last name shortly after.
During her childhood, Priscilla and her family moved around a lot because of Beaulieu’s career as an Air Force officer. When Priscilla became a teenager, the family moved to Germany, where Beaulieu got stationed at Wiesbaden Air Base.
In a 1973 interview with Ladies Home Journal, Priscilla recalled joking with her parents that they might meet Elvis. The singer enlisted in the Army and spent time stationed in Friedberg, Germany. Priscilla said her mother scoffed at the idea of meeting Elvis in person.
“My mother said ‘I wouldn’t let you walk across the street to see Elvis Presley’, which seems funny now, doesn’t it?’” Priscilla said in her interview.
Although Priscilla found the idea of meeting Elvis amusing, the pair saw each other for the first time in 1959. Priscilla said she was with other military kids at a local hangout in Germany when one of Elvis’s friends approached her. The friend asked Priscilla if she wanted to meet Elvis, and she jokingly said “fine” to the offer. Priscilla recalled wearing a “little sailor dress” for their first meeting at Elvis’s home.
“It was a very casual evening – a family atmosphere,” Priscilla said of the date. “Elvis was sitting in a chair when I arrived and he got up and shook my hand. Then reality hit me, and I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I never thought I’d see him again. Then he called.”
Priscilla Presley said she ‘really didn’t have teenage years’ during her courtship with Elvis Presley
Priscilla told Ladies Home Journal that her parents didn’t support her love affair with Elvis at first. When they met, Priscilla was 14-years-old and in high school. Elvis was 24-years-old and already had an established career. Eventually, though, Priscilla said Elvis won them over. The couple communicated throughout the rest of Priscilla’s adolescence. After spending time talking on the phone, Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship grew. Priscilla’s parents agreed to let her move in with Elvis, his father Vernon, and Vernon’s wife, Dee.
In an interview with The Jonathan Ross Show, Priscilla said she felt robbed of her teenage years during her early years with Elvis.
“You start losing yourself and who you are, and people always wanted to know and still do actually, want to know about him, and I do understand it a lot better now than when I was younger,” Priscilla said, per Huffington Post. “I was kind of lost really in who I was earlier in my life; I really didn’t have teenage years.”
Priscilla Presley said Elvis Presley was controlling during their marriage
Several years after she moved to Graceland, Elvis and Priscilla married in Las Vegas. Throughout the marriage, Priscilla said she felt controlled by Elvis. In her memoir, Elvis and Me, Priscilla wrote that Elvis frequently took mastery over her appearance. Priscilla said he judged everything from what she wore down to how she styled her hair. The constant scrutiny made Priscilla feel like “Elvis’s doll, his own living doll, to fashion as he pleased.”
Ultimately, Priscilla grew tired of Elvis’s ways and decided they needed to live separate lives. The couple divorced in 1973 after six years of marriage. However, they remained friends for their daughter’s sake. Priscilla spoke to Elvis just days before he died in his home on August 16, 1977.
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