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Priscilla Beaulieu Presley -- Being Married to a King

Music | September 22, 2018


(Photo by James Whitmore/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

From her humble beginnings in Germany to a “palace” in America, Priscilla, at the age of 14, starts out a new chapter in her life when she hooks up with Elvis, the “King” of Rock and Roll. She leaves her family behind in Germany to come to the United States. Her life was about to change forever. Her biological father was a US Navy pilot, James Wagner, who was killed in a plane crash when she was only six months old. It wasn’t until one day she was looking through an old wooden box of mementos that she came across that information. Her mother remarried in 1949 to a US Air Force officer, Paul Beaulieu, who raised her as his own.  

They traveled around from base to base in the United States before finally getting transferred to Germany. To start with, they stayed in a hotel until it got to be too expensive. They ended up renting an apartment that was in a vintage building that had been constructed before World War I; but not long after they moved in, they found out that it was a brothel. Unfortunately, they had to stay there because of limited housing.  

Elvis and Priscilla taking off after their wedding ceremony.

After her parents finally agreed to let her go with Elvis to visit Graceland in 1962, which was to be for two weeks and with some very specific restrictions, it was almost immediately that Elvis broke those “rules” that he agreed to. When they were supposed to be in Los Angeles, they were actually in Las Vegas but Elvis had Priscilla send postcards to her parents which were mailed from Los Angeles by one of his staff. During this trip to Las Vegas, she took her first amphetamines and sleeping pills in order to keep up with the lifestyle that Elvis lived. 

Just one year later, her parents agreed to let her move to Tennessee for good, but she was supposed to attend an all-girls Catholic School and live with his parents until she graduated in June of that year. Of course, those rules were bent and she actually moved into Graceland in May. But, eventually, he did make good on his promise to her parents that he would marry her. And what a momentous day it was for Priscilla to marry the man of her dreams, the “King.” She was the envy of all of Elvis’ many female fans, many of whom would have given anything to be in her shoes. On May 1, 1967, they officially tied the knot in Las Vegas and flew to Palm Springs, California.  

Palm Springs Honeymoon Hideaway

Elvis and Priscilla arrived in Palm Springs for their honeymoon at this gorgeous home that he leased for one year for $21,000. Only spending two days there for their honeymoon, Elvis later buys a home in Palm Springs in another part of town. Back in 2015, this home was put up for sale for around $7 million. Throughout the 5,000 square foot home, there is unimaginable beauty with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, big glass windows, customized stonework, two fireplaces, spacious chef’s kitchen, and a huge open living room.  

Palm Springs Honeymoon Paradise

This is a view of the living room in this beautiful home that was Elvis and Priscilla’s “hide-away” for their short honeymoon. Outside is an in-ground pool, tennis courts, and gorgeous garden --- definitely a place you could chill and relax in – too bad they couldn’t have taken a longer honeymoon there. Exactly nine months later though, Lisa Marie was born. Their marriage was not always as beautiful as their honeymoon home was and there are plenty of rumors that have gone around the media and Hollywood about the “affairs” Elvis had, but no one can say for sure what the real facts are except for the two of them. You cannot believe everything you hear and only half of what you see.  

Elvis and Lisa Marie

A rare moment with Elvis enjoying a special time with his daughter, Lisa Marie.

How special these times must have been with him constantly being on the road touring somewhere or on location of a movie set. Despite their rocky marriage, Elvis had a special place in his heart for his daughter. According to Priscilla, because she was so young when she got pregnant with Lisa Marie, she was quite upset and she and Elvis discussed abortion; but decided against it, saying they would not be able to live with themselves if they had.

Priscilla at Graceland

Even though Priscilla and Elvis’ marriage ended in divorce, they continued to stay friends over the years. Priscilla went on to do other things. She and a friend opened up a clothing boutique in Los Angeles, which turned out to be very successful. While Elvis was alive, he did not want her to pursue any type of career outside of the home. It wasn’t until 1980 that she co-hosted the show “Those Amazing Animals” and 1983 when she first acted professionally on an episode of “The Fall Guy.”

Later that year, she landed a role on “Dallas” playing Jenna Wade. She also starred in a few movies like “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.” Eventually, she hooked up with Marco Garibaldi, who she stayed with for 22 years and had a son with him whose name is Navarone. Even though her life with the “King” ended, she will always be known as the Queen of Graceland and the one who stole Elvis away from the world.

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Terry Claypoole

Writer

Terry is a lover of the beach, history, politics and has a passion for social media and technology. In her spare time, you can find her at the beach (of course) enjoying the sand and sun and listening to music from the groovy era.