Elvis’ wedding day heartbreak and those five terrible secret words | Music | Entertainment

Priscilla and Elvis cut the cake at their wedding 1967

Priscilla and Elvis cut the cake at their wedding 1967 (Image: GETTY)

Elvis Presley said the two magical and binding traditional words to Priscilla at a wedding that seemed like a fairytale from the pictures beamed around the world.

The reality was a rapid eight-minute ceremony attended by only 14 guests (leaving many close friends furious) followed by a far more lengthy press conference. The couple had famously met when Priscilla Beaulieu was just 14 and began living together when she was only 15, eventually marrying on May 1, 1967, when she was 21.

She had made no secret of her desire to make their relationship official, while The King had frequently flirted with the idea of wedlock (including with some of his movie co-stars) but had always remained rather gun-shy of the actual act.

One trusted staff member who had been very close to Elvis’ mother revealed that she found him crying in despair at home before the wedding.

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Alberta Holman, Elvis’s housekeeper and cook, had been with the family for many years and he had affectionately nicknamed her Alberta VO5 after the popular hair product brand, Alberto VO5.

After Gladys’ death, Alberta would prepare Elvis’s favourite comfort meal of bacon, hash browns, and black-eyed peas whenever he needed it. 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 found Elvis in great distress.

When Alberta asked why he didn’t simply call off the wedding if it was causing him such pain, Elvis allegedly responded, “I don’t have a choice.”

But why couldn’t Elvis, a famous, wealthy and adored star have done whatever he wanted? We know Priscilla wasn’t yet pregnant as she has repeatedly confirmed over the years that they did not have pre-marital sex.

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Elvis' maid Alberta at Graceland

Elvis’ maid Alberta at Graceland (Image: (Image: FB))

There was certainly talk that Priscilla’s father, upset by many years of his daughter living with Elvis with no guaranteed security and the worry of future shame and embarrassment, threatened to prosecute him for taking a minor across state lines in the early days of their relationship.

Elvis had travelled with Priscilla to Los Angeles and Las Vegas when she was only 15, a decision that flouted the clear agreement with her parents that stated she would remain in Memphis, living separately from Elvis and continuing her school education.

Other rumours suggest that it was Priscilla who pressured the King into marriage by threatening to expose damaging details of their relationship to the media, especially concerning its beginnings when she was merely 14 and 15.

However, she has repeatedly refuted these claims and pointed to another major influence.

Elvis and Priscilla leave on their honeymoon

Elvis and Priscilla leave on their honeymoon (Image: (Image: GETTY))

Priscilla shed some light on the controversy while speaking to Barbara Walters: “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?'”.

The wedding was followed by a swift press conference and a lavish $10,000 breakfast reception, attended by friends, family, and business associates from Elvis’ film and record companies MGM, RCA, and the William Morris Agency.

Some of Elvis’ closest friends were not invited to the actual wedding ceremony, including Red West, who had been with the star from the very beginning, and had asked Elvis to be his Best Man. West was so furious he quit working for Elvis.

After the reception, Elvis and Priscilla jetted off on a private plane for a brief three-day honeymoon in Palm Springs.

Elvis and Priscilla with baby Lisa Marie

Elvis and Priscilla with baby Lisa Marie (Image: (Image: GETTY))

But why was Elvis so troubled at the thought of marrying the woman he had been with for seven years?

Numerous commentators have highlighted the icon’s obsession with virginity. He insisted Priscilla remain a virgin for those seven years and their sexual relations never progressed beyond foreplay. He also had a fixation on cuddling and playing games with teenage girls.

Priscilla herself was not pleased when she immediately fell pregnant, fearing it would disrupt the way Elvis saw her – and she was right. He stopped coming to her bed altogether and they even briefly separated during the pregnancy.

In the interview with Barbara Walters, Priscilla revealed: “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.”

Elvis had not wanted their relationship to change. The birth of Lisa Marie on April 1, 1968, marked the beginning of the end. After living increasingly apart, they separated in February 1972.

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