Elvis Presley was only married once, but he had a child with his wife. He and Priscilla met while he as in the US Army in Germany, and were together for a long time. They broke up in 1973, four years before The King’s death – but what was their marriage like?
Elvis Presley met Priscilla Beaulieu in 1959 while Elvis was stationed in Germany, and Priscilla was just 14-years-old.
In the summer of 1962, after the pair had kept in touch for years, Priscilla parents let her visit Elvis’ home at Graceland for two weeks, and soon enough she was allowed to move to Memphis for good in March 1963.
Priscilla lived in a separate house on the Graceland estate with Elvis’s father and stepmother but eventually began to move her things into Graceland, which was allowed by her parents so long as Elvis agreed to marry her.
In 1966, Elvis proposed, and though there are differing reports about whether this was what Elvis wanted to do, the pair married in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967, and included a huge number of press members.
Priscilla admitted the pair did not have sex until their wedding night.
But soon after their marriage, she discovered she was pregnant and was initially upset at the idea of such an early pregnancy given they had not spent a long time together.
Their daughter Lisa Marie was then born nine months later on February 1, 1968, in Memphis.
After this, their marriage could really get going, but according to Priscilla, things were not plain sailing and she was forced to deal with The King’s “constant criticism.”
She told the Daily Mail in 2012 about how he would control her hair colour, clothing, and other aspects of her life, meaning she “could be myself.”
She said: “He had definite likes and dislikes, there’s no doubt about that… he was a little old-fashioned and put his likes and dislikes onto his women.
“I couldn’t wear trousers for ages and I couldn’t wear prints or stripes – I had to wear solids. I still do actually.
“If I’d been a bigger woman, it would have been different, but I was small, so that was OK.
“He loved me to dye my hair black and wear make-up but not so much jewellery, and it’s amazing how much he knew about style.”
She said he was still “kind and wise” and had a great deal of knowledge around “social graces,” but she had to find herself after their divorce.
She added: “It wasn’t until after we divorced that I could find out who I was.
“I’d take a dislike to something and not know why, then I’d realise it wasn’t my dislike, it was his.
“It was difficult to become my own person – I had to separate myself from Elvis’s concerns and considerations.”
In an interview with The Observer in 2005, however, Priscilla seemed less happy about Elvis’ controlling habits, saying she was the product of “constant criticism.”
She said: “I was someone he created. I was just a kid, and I was consumed by him.
“I could never speak my mind; all I desired was not to disappoint him…
“He was quite critical. What you’re seeing is the product of constant criticism.”
She also claimed she lost weight while pregnant due to Elvis’ unkind comments about women who “let themselves go,” and was not able to see a doctor while at Graceland due to Elvis’ dislike of having “new people around.”
According to Priscilla, in her memoir of their life together, Elvis became fascinated with the occult and addicted to prescription drugs, which she believes changed his personality.
With Elvis regularly away and seeing other women, Priscilla decided to focus on a hobby while she spent time alone.
She began taking karate lessons from Mike Stone, on Elvis’s suggestion, and soon began an affair with him, which seemed to be something Elvis was aware of.
The pair separated in February 1972 and divorcing a year and a half later, though according to one biographer, Priscilla’s decision to leave Elvis for her karate teacher left his ego “damaged beyond repair”.
The divorce was finalised in 1973 and the pair attempted to stay close after their divorce.
Priscilla was named as one of the executors of his will after his death, which left her ensuring her daughter had a fantastic nest egg in the Graceland property.