One of the people closest to Elvis Presley found him crying in desperation before his marriage to Priscilla, leaving the question: why did he go through with it?
Much has been written of the controversial (to say the least) romance of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Priscilla herself has said much of their time before and after their union. With everything from major emotional concerns to legal hesitations present, Priscilla wasn’t any more eager for the act of marriage than Elvis Presley himself. So what could’ve possibly made these two wed?
According to one of the most revealing biographies ever published on the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis’ housekeeper, cook, and “dear family member” Alberta Holman saw how distraught young Elvis was first-hand.
The book, Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske, it was Alberta that found Elvis crying over the upcoming wedding in 1967. Trying to comfort him, she asked her young superstar why he wouldn’t simply call off the wedding if it was making him this unhappy.
To Alberta, Elvis simply replied: “I don’t have a choice…”
What could’ve given the Elvis Presley this impression? As it turns out, many powerful forces were at play. And each was threatening to act on the mistakes Elvis and Priscilla themselves had made.
Elders Forced Elvis Presley’s Hand in Marriage
At the time, persistent rumors reached the icon that Priscilla’s father was deeply angry with Elvis over his gallivanting with his daughter. Word had it that he was threatening to prosecute Elvis for taking his daughter – a minor at the time of their early travels – across state lines.
While there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Elvis and Priscilla Presley were madly in love, this only furthered all complications. Elvis couldn’t resist taking Priscilla to LA and Las Vegas with his entourage, even when she was only 15-years-old. It’s a subject that’s hard to write about today – and even harder to fathom. Yet here we are.
Their travels together went directly against the agreement Priscilla’s father made with Elvis. He had assured her parents that their young daughter would remain in Memphis. She was to be chaperoned by grandmother Minnie Mae at all times and attend school.
Priscilla and Elvis, however, were inseparable. They chose, instead, to do whatever they wished, with Priscilla even writing fake postcards from Memphis to her family back in Germany.
Colonel Parker Strikes Again
Elvis’ infamous manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was also deeply concerned. Speaking to Barbara Walters in 1985, Priscilla detailed that Presley’s manager had put the “pressure” on Elvis to marry – and marry soon.
“I think the pressure was on somewhat. We’d been together six years, the relationship was going well. The suggestion I think came from Colonel Parker (Elvis’ manager) ‘Either you should get married or go on. If you’re not getting married, then what are you doing?’” she told Walters at the time.
In the end, Elvis Aaron and Priscilla Beaulieu would become Elvis & Priscilla Presley on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Priscilla was 21 at the time. Nine months later to the date of their wedding, Lisa Marie Presley would enter the world, giving Elvis at least one cherished reason to never regret their union.