One of the most iconic couples in music history, Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s romance is being told on the big screen with the King of Rock’n Roll’s ex-wife’s blessing. Their age gap was controversial which brings the question: how old was Priscilla Presley when she married Elvis?
Priscilla and Elvis had a turbulent love life after meeting in 1959 and eventually marrying in 1967. The Presleys separated in 1972 after she had an affair with her karate instructor and he had constant affairs with his co-stars. Priscilla recounted her days with the “All Shook Up” singer in her memoir Elvis & Me.
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Elvis & Me by Priscilla Presley
Elvis & Me by Priscilla Presley
Sofia Coppola adapted the memoir into a biopic film about their marriage in 2023. Priscilla was asked what it was like to see her life portrayed in such a way. “It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about you, about your life, about your love,” Priscilla said, becoming visibly emotional: “Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, we spoke a couple of times and I really put everything out for her that I could.”
“It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why,” she said. “And I really do think because I was more of a listener. Elvis would pour his heart out to me in every way in Germany: his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother — which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there to listen and to comfort him. That was really our connection. Even though I was 14, I was actually a little bit older in life — not in numbers. That was the attraction. People think, ‘Oh, it was sex.’ No, it wasn’t. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving, but he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old. We were more in line in thought, and that was our relationship.”
On what she thinks about the upcoming audience reception of the film, Priscilla shared, “I’m so nervous because it’s my life,” “The people who are watching, they’re living it with you, and you hope and pray that they get it. They get your feelings, your hurts, your sensitivity.”
“(Priscilla) wasn’t looking to make a movie out of the story,” Coppola told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “But she said that because she liked my movies, she would let me do it.”
So how old was Priscilla Presley when she married Elvis? Read more to find out.
When did Priscilla Presley meet Elvis Presley?
met in November 1959 in West Germany when he was 24 years old and she was 14 years old. Elvis was stationed in Germany at the time during his stint in the U.S. Army. Priscilla, for her part, had moved to Germany that year after her father, a member of the Air Force, was transferred there. While she was out with her younger brother one night, an Air Force member asked Priscilla if she’d like to come with him and his wife to meet Elvis. After she checked in with her father, who talked to the Air Force member’s commanding officer, Priscilla was given permission to meet Elvis. That night, Priscilla, who was in ninth grade at the time, wore a navy-and-white sailor dress and met Elvis at his temporary home in Bad Nauheim, Germany. According to Biography.com, Priscilla immediately captured Elvis’ attention and he even played several of his songs, including “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” for her.
Elvis—who saw a resemblance between Priscilla and his late mother, Gladys, who had recently died—told his friend, Rex Mansfield, after the meeting that Priscilla was “young enough that I can train her any way I want,” according to Biography.com. After the meeting, Elvis asked Priscilla on a second date, where he took her to his room and they kissed. After Priscilla’s fourth date with Elvis, Priscilla’s parents asked to meet Elvis. At the meeting, Priscilla’s father asked Elvis why he was interested in his 14-year-old daughter, to which Elvis responded, “Well, sir, I happen to be very fond of her. She’s a lot more mature than her age and I enjoy her company.” Charmed by Elvis, Priscilla’s parents allowed her to continue to see him. Due to their 10-year age difference, however, Elvis and Priscilla couldn’t go public with their relationship and saw each other in private. They also didn’t have sex. When Elvis’ time in the U.S. Army ended, Priscilla told him she was ready to have sex, to which he responded, “Someday we will, Priscilla, but not now. You’re just too young.”
Elvis and Priscilla lost touch for two years after he was discharged from the U.S. Army in March 1960 and left Germany. Though Priscilla sent Elvis letters—using pink envelopes so Elvis could identify them among his fan mail—she didn’t hear from him until 1962 when he asked her to visit him in Los Angeles and convinced her parents to allow her to see him. Priscilla visited Elvis in Los Angeles, and the two continued to date. Later that year, Elvis asked Priscilla to finish high school in Memphis, Tennessee. Though her parents rejected the idea at first, Elvis convinced them that Priscilla would be safe and living with his father and stepmother. He also suggested that he wanted to marry her. Priscilla’s parents agreed and Priscilla enrolled at the Immaculate Conception High School in Tennessee and moved in with Elvis’ father and stepfather before living with Elvis in Graceland, his home in Memphis. She graduated in May 1963. Over the next few years, Priscilla, who was often left in Graceland while Elvis traveled for his career, earned the nickname “live-in Lolita,” a reference to the 1955 novel. Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, worried about the effect his relationship with Priscilla would have on his career if they didn’t marry. Elvis proposed to Priscilla during Christmas 1966.
How Old Was Priscilla Presley When She Married Elvis?
How old was Priscilla Presley when she married Elvis Presley? Priscilla Presley was 21 when she married Elvis Presley. He proposed to Priscilla with a 3.5-carat diamond engagement ring with 20 detachable diamonds in 1996 and also sported a matching ring.
The couple married at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 1, 1967. At the actual ceremony itself, only 14 people showed up at 9 a.m. for the nuptials. Colonel Parker arranged for the early morning wedding to avoid press and fan fanfare. After the ceremony, they joined 100 guests seated at 10 round tables for a champagne breakfast, served buffet style at the hotel. Many of Elvis’s friends were angry at him for not inviting him to the ceremony, so they held another reception in Graceland. The legendary five-foot-tall, six-tier cake, which was made of yellow sponge, filled with apricot marmalade and kirsch-flavored Bavarian cream, was worth around $3,200 which is $29,900 today. The two flew to Palm Springs for their quiet honeymoon and had sex for the first time. Nine months after their wedding date, Priscilla gave birth to their only daughter Lisa Marie on February 1, 1967.
Why did Priscilla & Elvis Presley divorce?
When Priscilla was seven months pregnant with Lisa Marie, Elvis asked her for a trial separation. The two only separated for a short time before Lisa Marie’s birth. After Lisa Marie was born, Priscilla accused Elvis of not wanting to sleep with her after she had given birth. Elvis told her that he wanted her to recover, but Priscilla later wrote in her 1986 book, Elvis and Me: The True Story of the Love Between Priscilla Presley and the King of Rock N’ Roll, that Elvis had been turned off from other women who had children in the past. “He had mentioned before we were married that he had never been able to make love to a woman who’d had a child,” she wrote. Throughout their marriage, Elvis continued to cheat on Priscilla with other women. Priscilla, for her part, also had an affair with the owner of a dance studio. Though the two renewed their vows in Hawaii several years after their wedding, their marriage never recovered. “My life was his life,” Priscilla told People magazine in 1978. “My problems were secondary.” Priscilla went on to have another affair with her karate instructor, Mike Stone. In 1972, she told Elvis she was leaving him. When he learned of her affair, Elvis wanted to hire a hitman to kill Mike but was convinced not to, according to Biography.com.
Elvis and Priscilla finalized their divorce on October 9, 1973. “I did not divorce him because I didn’t love him. He was the love of my life, but I had to find out about the world,” Priscilla said in a 2016 interview. After their divorce, Priscilla and Elvis shared custody of Lisa Marie and had an amicable relationship. In the documentary, Elvis by the Presleys, Priscilla claimed that Elvis’ use of prescription pills increased throughout separation and divorce. She explained that Elvis also started to rely on prescription drug as his tour schedule became busier and busier. “His struggle to sleep, a lifelong dilemma, was gravely exacerbated,” Priscilla said in the documentary. “His dependence on pills – to chase away his blues or just give him the energy to make it through the day – became more extreme.” Priscilla told the documentary that she ignored “warning signs” of Elvis’ drug use due to her preoccupation with Lisa Marie. “Because I was concentrating on my own life and the life of my young daughter, I may have missed some of the warning signs,” Priscilla said. “That is, until the day of our divorce.”
Despite their issues before their divorce, Priscilla told Elvis by the Presleys that her separation from Elvis was “amazing.” “Amazing, I believe, because as we sat in the judge’s chambers and signed the final decree, we held hands,” she said. “It was as though we were an old married couple rather than about-to-be divorced adversaries.” Priscilla also called Elvis “tender and sweet” the day they finalized their divorce and revealed that he sang Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” to her when they exited the courtroom.
During that day in court, Priscilla remembered holding Elvis’ hand, which is when she first realized how far his health issues had progressed due to his drug use. “As Elvis’s fingers touched mine, I grew alarmed,” Priscilla said. “His hands, always smooth, were puffy, swollen. I knew something was different; something was wrong. I could see it in his eyes, I could feel it in his hands.” Elvis died four years later in 1977. He was 42 years old.
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