The Real Reason Why Elvis and Priscilla Presley Ended Up Divorcing After 8 Years of Marriage

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A girl could only imagine getting the attention of their favorite heartthrob singer, but it was very much a reality for Priscilla Anne Beaulieu when she met "Hound Dog" singer Elvis Presley. With the highly-anticipated biopic Elvis hitting theaters, fans of The King are excited to take a trip down memory lane an explore the couple's relationship.

From behind the mic to behind a camera, Elvis quickly proved that he wasn't just a pretty face and unique voice. He starred in several films, including his debut movie Love Me Tender, but soon after was drafted into the military. He proudly agreed to joining the force and was eventually promoted to sergeant. While in Germany, he first met a 14-year-old Priscilla who later became his wife and biggest supporter, even after his passing.

A chance encounter where Elvis first met Priscilla.

While serving in the army (and somehow continuing to lead the music charts with unreleased music), Elvis was deployed to Germany in 1958. A year later, he met Priscilla Beaulieu during a party at a friend's house. Priscilla was living there with her family after her stepfather was transferred there via the United States Air Force. The "Jailhouse Rock" singer quickly became smitten with her and the two were basically inseparable during his entire stay in Germany.

Photo credit: ullstein bild Dtl. - Getty Images
Photo credit: ullstein bild Dtl. - Getty Images


The new, young romance suddenly took a turn when Elvis eventually departed from Germany in 1960. After being hounded (pun intended) by the media to talk about their brief relationship, Priscilla heard rumors about the singer's relationship with actress Nancy Sinatra and thought she'd never speak to Elvis again.

To Priscilla's surprise, even after arriving back in the U.S., Elvis made sure to stay in touch. Eventually, Priscilla's parents agreed to letting her visit The King for two weeks under some very strict rules. After some convincing, that two weeks turned into Priscilla slowly moving to Elvis's Memphis estate, Graceland.

The couple had quite the unconventional marriage.

After years of living at Graceland, keeping up the tumultuous rockstar lifestyle and swirling rumors of affairs with Hollywood starlets, Elvis proposed to Priscilla just before Christmas 1966. Elvis, 32, and Priscilla, 22, tied the knot in Las Vegas in May 1967.

Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Images

The 8-minute wedding caused tension between the two as some of Elvis's friends did not support the union, and he reportedly said that he felt that he "didn't have a choice."

Elvis and Priscilla welcomed a daughter, but decided it was best to go their separate ways.

Exactly nine months to the day of their wedding, Priscilla gave birth to the couple's only child, Lisa Marie Presley. According to Priscilla's book Elvis and Me, she was not prepared for pregnancy. Even during her pregnancy, Priscilla was worried about the legitimacy of rumors that swirled around Elvis's affair with Nancy Sinatra. Much to her surprise, the actress offered to hold a baby shower for her where they seemed to get along well together.

Photo credit: Magma Agency - Getty Images
Photo credit: Magma Agency - Getty Images

Things took a turn for the unexpected after Elvis asked for a trial separation in which she responded, "You've got it. Just tell me when to leave." Two months later, Priscilla gave birth to Lisa Marie.

While filming Live a Little, Love a Little in 1968, Elvis was gone for a prolonged period and Priscilla decided to take private dancing lessons. She began a short affair with her instructor, and in her book admitted regret, saying, "I came out of it realizing I needed much more out of my relationship with Elvis."

From fans' perspective, the couple's marriage seemed happy, but as Elvis' career continued to soar (although, his health continued to decline), Priscilla and Lisa were left at Graceland alone. After countless rumored affairs with his co-stars, the two decided to divorce in 1973. Following eight years of marriage, Priscilla and Elvis remained close, and even held each other while leaving the courthouse after their divorce was finalized.

Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Images

Priscilla was given Graceland and continues Elvis' legacy to this day.

Despite a divorce, Priscilla remained an important person in Elvis' life. He too was supportive of Priscilla's career, including helping her open her first store in 1973. The singer lived at Graceland until August 16, 1977, when he was found unconscious on the property at only 42 years old.

After his passing, Elvis's daughter, Lisa Marie, was named the sole beneficiary of the estate. Later, in 1982, Priscilla announced that their home of Graceland would become a memorial museum for the late singer and open to the public. She was given control of Elvis Presley Enterprises and has since helped preserve Elvis' legacy, including giving her blessing for the new 2022 biopic, Elvis.

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