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Episode 43: Priscilla Presley (Elvis Month Part 2)

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Elvis and Priscilla Presley on their wedding day Photographed by Michael Ochs, May 1st 1967

Episode 2 of our 3-parter is all about the only woman to ever marry The King, Priscilla Presley! Today- August 16th- marks the 40th year of Elvis’ passing and we’re talking about the women he loved.

When Priscilla’s friends tried to console her about having to move to Germany with her family in 1959 they said “At least you’ll be in the same Country as Elvis!”. Little did they know she’d soon be dating him!  A homesick, lonely Elvis Presley was instantly smitten when he met 14 year old Priscilla and began spending every moment he could with her while off duty. Their 6 months together flew by and before they knew it Elvis was headed back to the States. Priscilla was devastated but held onto the hope that they may still have a future together. Two years later she got the call she’d been dreaming of and was soon headed to Graceland.  Their love had some obstacles (Elvis’ wandering eye and Priscilla’s parents to name a few) but what Elvis wants Elvis gets! Soon Priscilla had moved in, completing her High School education in Memphis while Elvis was working on films (as well as his costars) in Hollywood. 

It would be 7 years before the pair wed in 1967, finally consummating their love. The built up passion led to their only child, Lisa Marie, born one year later. But their relationship wasn’t the stuff of fairy tales. As Priscilla matured, she began to realize she’d been moulded by Elvis to be his “ideal wife”, denying the true woman within. “He taught me everything, how to dress, how to walk, how to apply makeup and wear my hair, how to behave, how to return love – his way. I was Elvis’ doll, his own living doll, to be fashioned as he pleased.”

Realizing she was never going to get what she needed out of their marriage, Priscilla made the tough decision to finally break free.  The pair divorced in 1973 but remained close (they even held hands during the divorce proceeds) until his passing on August 16th 1977.