Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s love story is one for the ages.
But it is not always rainbows and butterflies, as most of us know. Priscilla spoke to PEOPLE on the challenges she faced after marrying Elvis in 1967.
“My God, I had to learn everything,” Priscilla said of Elvis. “Women gravitated to him, so I would be nervous when he had to go places alone. I would even go with him to get his teeth cleaned! I always had an eye on him because everyone in the world was after him.”
He also had quite the temper.
“If he saw somebody he didn’t like on the TV, he’d get his gun out and blow it up,” she says. “Then he would tell his daddy to go get another TV.”
Priscilla, who is now 76, recalled the moment she fell in love with the singer at the young age of 14. A New York City girl, she moved with her mom and her dad, Paul, a U.S. Air Force captain, after he was transferred there in the late ’50s to West Germany. She was then invited to a party at the house Elvis rented in Bad Nauheim during his stint in the U.S. Army.
The moment she met Elvis, who was in his mid-20s at the time, Priscilla knew immediately she “had to keep him,” she says now. “I wanted to go places with him. I would cry if I couldn’t be around him.”
Three years after Elvis returned to the U.S. (1963) Priscilla’s parents allowed her to move from Germany to Memphis, where the Tupelo, Mississippi-born star had moved with his family as a teen. But on one condition: that she live with his father and stepmother in their home a mile away from his Graceland mansion.
And four years later, when he was 32 and she was 21, they were married.
As his wife, “I was always ready to greet him at the door and pamper him,” says Priscilla. “I loved taking care of Elvis very much. I loved tending to him. I loved feeding him. We would baby talk, because you have to have your own language when you have that many people around. It was a good life. It was different, but it was ours.”
The birth of their daughter Lisa Marie in 1968 only furthered their love for one another, but after six years of marriage, they divorced in 1973.
“I truly cherish the great times. As you grow up, there are always fears and insecurities,” says Priscilla, “But as you get older you understand it all.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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