Happy Sapphire Anniversary Elvis & Priscilla, Kind of… [VIDEO]
It was on this date in 1967 that Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The couple had met 8 years earlier while Elvis was serving his time in the army and Priscilla's father was serving in the Air Force. The private ceremony featured very few guests and was over in only eight minutes. The marriage itself didn't last that long either, ending in 1973.
A well known rumor says the wedding may have never happened if it wasn't for a phone call from Priscilla's father to Elvis threatening to take their story to the press if Elvis refused to marry her, and to have Elvis charged under the Mann Act; "taking a minor across state lines for sexual purposes."
Eventually the wedding happened, but not without drama. The wedding caused rifts between Elvis and several of his closest friends who weren't invited to the actual wedding ceremony. Red West, especially, was furious about the situation. He and his wife had been personally invited by Elvis to Las Vegas for the wedding, had dressed for the occasion, and at the last minute were told that they would not be present. For Red, who had been with Elvis since the beginning of his rise to fame and had given Elvis the role of best man at his own wedding, this was enough of an insult that he decided to quit his job working for Elvis. Many other friends of Elvis were also disappointed and held resentment towards him for many years to follow, although they mainly blamed Elvis' manager, Colonel Parker, for their exclusion rather than Elvis himself.
Following the reception, Elvis and Priscilla boarded a private jet and enjoyed a short honeymoon in Palm Springs. On May 4, they flew back to Memphis and retreated to their private ranch, just over the Mississippi state line, for a three-week break. Many of Elvis' inner circle joined them, although for the most part the couple were left alone and were able to enjoy each others company without the intrusion of the Memphis Mafia. Priscilla reveled in her chance to be a proper wife; cooking, cleaning, and washing for her husband. "I loved playing house" she later remarked, adding "Here was an opportunity to take care of him myself. No maids or housekeepers to pamper us." In an attempt to heal rifts, Elvis and Priscilla held another reception at Graceland on May 29 for the friends and family who were unable to attend the original ceremonies.
Soon after, Priscilla found out that she was pregnant. She was upset at such an early pregnancy, certain that it would destroy the closeness she had finally found with Elvis. She had asked him earlier if she could take birth control pills, but Elvis had insisted they weren't perfected yet. She considered abortion, and even discussed it with Elvis at one point, but both decided they could not live with themselves if they had gone through with it.Their only child, Lisa Marie, was born exactly nine months after their wedding, on February 1, 1968.
Despite Priscilla's affair and Elvis' on and off relationships with his co-stars and leading ladies, the first few years they were married seemed a happy time for the couple. However, when Elvis' career took off again after his 1968 television special, he was constantly touring and playing in Las Vegas. Elvis had also been seeing other women on and off, often leaving Priscilla at home with Lisa Marie. Due to Elvis being away so often, the marriage soured.
Elvis and Priscilla separated on February 23, 1972, and filed for legal separation on July 26. To avoid Priscilla having to make her home address available on the public records and therefore risking the security of both her and Lisa Marie, Elvis filed for divorce on August 18 and it was finalized on October 9, 1973, after almost six and a half years of marriage. The couple agreed to share custody of their daughter and Priscilla was awarded an outright cash payment of $725,000 as well as spousal support, child support, 5% of Elvis' new publishing companies and half the income from the sale of their Beverly Hills home. Originally the couple had agreed upon a much smaller settlement; a $100,000 lump payment, $1,000 a month spousal support, and $500 a month child support. This was all Priscilla had wanted as she was keen to make it on her own and prove that her marriage to Elvis was not about money. Soon afterward, however, her new lawyers had persuaded her to up her demands, pointing out that a star of Elvis' stature could easily afford more for his ex-wife and child.
Today, Priscilla is going strong at age 66. An actress, mother, and businesswoman, Priscilla is in for an exciting year. She will return to the small screen in the remake of Dallas, in which she will reprise her character, Jenna Wade, and of course, remains a doting mom to Lisa Marie, 43, and a grandma to her four children, Danielle, 21, Benjamin, 18, and 2-year-old twins Harper and Finley!