Life with a celebrity sometimes becomes a real trial for their significant others. Elvis Presley is the king of rock and roll and a recognized music genius. His wife Priscilla, a beauty with an angelic face, was 10 years younger than him. She became the only woman who ever received a marriage proposal from Elvis. And he was the man who she called the love of her life even after time, separations, quarrels, and divorce.
At Bright Side, we decided to dig deeper into Priscilla’s story and why she felt she couldn’t show herself to her husband without makeup.
He was 24, she was 14. They met in 1959 at a party hosted by Elvis, who was serving in the army in those days. The pretty girl immediately caught his attention. To impress her, he played a few songs, including, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”. When Priscilla left the party, she was sure she would never see Presley again. But fate had other plans.
Elvis noticed that Priscilla looked like his recently departed mother, Gladys, whom he missed very much. Soon afterward the musician invited her on a date, where they kissed for the first time. Priscilla’s parents were really worried and said they wanted to speak to Presley in person. When they met, Elvis impressed them so much that they immediately forgot about their worries. He told them that he had sincere feelings for their daughter and he felt that, mentally, their daughter was much older than her age.
When the relationship between them was just beginning, Elvis told his friend Rex Mansfield that Priscilla was “young enough that I can train her any way I want.” Meanwhile, the young lady fell so desperately in love with her “king” that he became the center of her world.
Gradually they began to date. Priscilla put on makeup and borrowed her mother’s clothes, hoping that Elvis’s friends would think she was at least 16. There were always a lot of people at parties in his mansion, everyone was talking, laughing, and waiting for Elvis to come down from his room. As soon as he appeared, it would become quiet in the living room: everyone would try to guess how his mood would be. “No one, including myself, dared joke around unless he laughed and then we all laughed,” said Priscilla about those times.
“Nights when his mood was calm and peaceful, he would describe his ideal woman and tell me how perfectly I fit this image. He liked soft-spoken brunettes with blue eyes. He wanted to mold me to his opinions and preferences. Fidelity was very important to him, especially on the woman’s part,” said Priscilla.
Due to their age difference, and because Elvis appreciated Priscilla’s youth and purity, he was ready to wait until she became an adult. However, over the course of their relationship, Presley had other women, from neighboring girls to Hollywood stars.
Priscilla and Elvis looked like each other for a reason. Presley “sculpted” her in his own image and likeness. Besides, he asked his hairdresser to dye his girlfriend’s hair black, like his own, and to style their locks in a similar way. That is why, later, Priscilla described herself as “Elvis’ living doll.”
She couldn’t show herself to him without having her makeup and hair done because he didn’t want to see the process of creating beauty, he just wanted to see the final result. Priscilla did everything to make Elvis happy. It didn’t matter what she wanted or whether she had any issues of her own.
The couple got married and Priscilla became pregnant right afterward. This made Elvis worry about how parenting would affect his career. When Priscilla was 7 months pregnant, he asked to take a break in their relationship. Soon, when their daughter Lisa Marie was born, the lovers got back together.
After giving birth, Priscilla found out that Elvis continued to have affairs, like he did before their marriage. But Priscilla no longer wanted to just wait for him like a faithful dog.
They were married for a little over 6 years. Later she confessed in an interview that she divorced him not because she didn’t love him. “I had to find out about the world,” admitted Priscilla. “I didn’t have my teenage years as a normal girl, obviously, so I had to adapt. So I just kind of followed what he did. I mean, you lived his life. You honestly didn’t have your own life… So you really kind of lost yourself.”
After the divorce, the former spouses shared custody of their daughter and saw each other regularly. When Priscilla found out about Elvis’ death, she was devastated, and it took her a long time to get herself together and move on.
Their daughter Lisa Marie Presley later became a singer, and she was married to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. One of the Presleys’ granddaughters, Riley Keough, is a model and an actress.
Priscilla kept her husband’s family name, but changed her hair and makeup style. After the divorce, she opened a clothing boutique. Later she starred in a few movies. Her most famous roles are Jenna Wade on the Dallas TV series and Jane Spencer in The Naked Gun movies.
Priscilla began to form her own personality and realized that a woman can have her own life.
Priscilla is 75 years old now. Since 2003, Presley has been the Ambassador of the Dream Foundation, a Santa Barbara-based wish-granting organization for terminally ill adults and their families.
Despite the fact that her marriage with Elvis wasn’t successful, Priscilla only has warm memories of him. She still says that he was “the love of her life” and despite the difficulties they faced, she will love him forever.
Do you think that life with a celebrity is always a trial for their significant other? Do you think it can be any other way? Share your opinion in the comments below.