The world’s biggest star, Elvis Presley, married his long-term girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu on May 1, 1967. It was a brief ceremony that seemed more like a publicity stunt. Shortly before Christmas 1966, Elvis had proposed to Priscilla and they married at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The wedding, arranged by The King’s manager Colonel Parker, lasted only eight minutes. It was followed by a quick press conference and a $10,000 breakfast reception, attended by friends, family, and business associates from Elvis’ film and record companies MGM, RCA, and the William Morris Agency. However, some of Elvis’ closest friends, like Red West, were not invited to the actual wedding ceremony. The newly married couple boarded a private jet and enjoyed a short honeymoon in Palm Springs until May 4 – and fully consummated their relationship for the first time.
Elvis and Priscilla had been together already for seven years, since 1959 when she was just 14. She had been sharing his bed from almost the very beginning. And yet, some have claimed Elvis never wanted to marry her – and his long-term housekeeper described finding him in tears of despair the night before the wedding.
Alberta Holman had been with the Presley family for years and was very close to the star’s mother, Gladys. Elvis nicknamed her Alberta VO5 after the famous hair product brand, Alberto VO5.
After Gladys passed away, Alberta used to make Elvis his favourite meal of bacon, hashbrowns and black-eyed peas.
According to the biography Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske, Alberta said she found him crying about the upcoming wedding in 1967.
She asked Elvis why he didn’t just cancel it if it was making him so unhappy and he apparently replied, “I don’t have a choice.”
in private, Elvis was notorious for his numerous affairs throughout his career, especially with his film co-stars. He was officially dating actress Anita Wood when he met Priscilla, and had a major entanglement with Viva Las Vegas’ Ann Margret which drove Priscilla to hurl a vase at the wall.
Apart from the constant infidelities, the teenager was also desperate to take their relationship all the way, later saying: “Elvis would take me into his bedroom and then we would kiss long, deep, passionate kisses and his caresses would leave me weak with desire.”
In an interview with Barbara Walters, Priscilla says the star would never take it any further: “There was an agreement he made with himself that the woman he decided to take for his wife he was going to keep her that way until he married her…
“I can only go back to his concept of what he wanted in a woman. Somewhere in his past, he said he wanted a virgin.”
But did Priscilla really remain a virgin? This is disputed by biographer Susan Finstad in the 1997 biography, Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley.
Finstad wrote: “In her book and in other public forums, Priscilla, perpetuating the myth, would say that her first night of marriage in the upstairs master bedroom of the Palm Springs house was the moment when she lost her virginity – conveniently overlooking her previous sexual relationships with … Tommy Stewart, Peter von Wechmar, Jamie Lindberg, and possibly Ron Tapp.”
immediately after the marriage, Priscilla found out that she was pregnant. Surprisingly, it was not what she wanted at the time.
She worried that a baby and motherhood could threaten the newfound intimacy and stability she had with Elvis and change the way he saw her. Lisa Marie was born nine months later on February 1, 1968.
Apparently, Priscilla had asked if she could take birth control pills, but Elvis had insisted they weren’t perfected yet. This certainly sounds like they had not been in a fully sexual relationship before that point. Of course, she could have used various forms of birth control with other alleged lovers but it appears that with Elvis, the couple really did wait until they were married.
The pregnancy, however, was the beginning of the end for their relationship. Priscilla told Barbara Walters: “Elvis had a hard time dealing with me being a mother and the little girl that I was to him. I didn’t know it then, but that’s what I realised in later years – that he was a father to me.”
After living increasingly apart, they separated in February 1972.