When Elvis Presley met 14-year-old Priscilla [Beaulieu] Presley while stationed in Germany as a soldier for the United States Army, little did he know she would later become his wife. Presley served two years in Germany, from 1958 through 1960. During his service, he and Priscilla’s relationship became so intense that she was allowed to see him off at the airport as he left Germany to return to civilian life in the United States. However, there was one thing she could not do during their heartbreaking goodbye. What was it?
Priscilla claimed she was ‘insecure’ upon meeting Elvis
In a 1985 interview with People Magazine, Priscilla explained her and Elvis’ relationship.
“Nothing in my upbringing could have prepared me for our life. When we met, I was an impressionable 14 years old. He was 24. I was an insecure Air Force brat, unhappily accustomed to moving from base to base,” she wrote.
“In 1959, after my father was assigned to Wiesbaden, West Germany [headquarters of the U.S. Air Force in Europe], I found myself deeply involved with Elvis,” Priscilla explained.
“Something in his Southern upbringing had taught him that the right girl saved sex for marriage. I was that girl. At the same time, he molded me into his woman. I wore the clothes, hairstyle, and makeup of his careful choosing.
She wrote that during their first meeting at Elvis’ home in Bad Nauheim, she realized the King of Rock and Roll was trying to get her attention. Priscilla claimed that the less she responded, the harder he worked to impress her.
Their relationship progressed quickly, and soon, they were inseparable. However, after six months, Priscilla and Elvis had to part as he returned to the United States with an honorable discharge from military service.
What did Elvis tell Priscilla not to do during their heartbreaking goodbye in Germany?
In a video for Vogue Magazine, Priscilla recalled the moment she bid Elvis Presley farewell, not knowing if she would ever see him again. She discussed her “life in looks” for the publication.
The first image in the video was of Priscilla as she waved goodbye to Presley from the airport tarmac. She wore a belted dress and headscarf.
“I dreaded this day very much because I didn’t know if I would ever see him again,” she said.
“One request that he asked was that I not be teary-eyed, so you see me smiling here,” Priscilla explained in the clip.
“There are other pictures where I am down, looking away. So that was the beginning.”
After Elvis left Germany, she was unable to eat or sleep
After Elvis departed Germany, Priscilla claimed she was “unable to eat or sleep.”
“For the two days after Elvis left, I locked myself in my room, unable to eat and sleep. Finally, I forced myself to go to school and found myself swamped by reporters and photographers,” she told People.
Priscilla said it took Presley 21 days to call her upon his return to the United States. She noted his calls were subsequently infrequent.
It wasn’t until the summer of 1962 that Presley and Priscilla reunited in Los Angeles. After two weeks, Priscilla returned to Germany and didn’t see the king again until Christmas that same year when she visited his Memphis home, Graceland.
In the fall of 1963, Presley convinced Priscilla’s parents to allow her to live with his father Vernon and stepmother Dee Stanley in their Memphis home. She was enrolled in an all-girls Catholic high school and finished her education. Within months she had moved into Graceland and was a permanent fixture in Presley’s life.