Why Elvis Presley’s Lover Linda Thompson Wore Lavender to His Funeral

Linda Thompson is a model most known for her relationship with Elvis Presley. During his funeral, she wore an outfit that wasn’t exactly traditional. Here’s why she thought a non-traditional outfit would honor the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson in a car
Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson | Tom Wargacki/WireImage

Linda Thompson’s relationship with Elvis Presley

In her book, A Little Thing Called Life, Thompson says she’d been Elvis’ love interest for almost five years after he divorced Priscilla Presley. She was well-acquainted with his daughter, Lisa Marie. Thompson and Lisa Marie stayed friends even after Thompson broke up with Elvis. Lisa Marie called Thompson on the day her father died to give her the sad news. It seemed everywhere Thompson turned in her apartment, there was some reminder of the King.

Linda Thompson wondered what Elvis Presley would want her to wear to his funeral

As Thompson’s mind filled with thoughts and memories, she began to pack for her trip to Memphis. Her mind was absorbed with what might be an appropriate outfit for the King’s funeral. Thompson went to her closet and looked at various dresses.

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson in a car
Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson | Tom Wargacki/WireImage

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Why Linda Thompson chose the color lavender for Elvis’ funeral

Thompson decided on a “a lavender silk dress.” Thompson says she decided on lavender because Elvis had been so influenced by colors and numbers. In particular, Elvis had a view of the color purple. She says, “Elvis believed that all shades of purple emitted the highest spiritual vibrations and considered the color to be the most closely connected to the purity and power of God. That was enough of a fashion endorsement for me.”

Thompson reveals she was more concerned about honoring Elvis than caring about being in a conservative Southern church where traditional black would be viewed as appropriate. She wanted to “honor Elvis’s sweet soul and his deepest beliefs.” Further, she says on the night she met Elvis, she had worn an outfit with lavender flowers on it.

Linda Thompson wearing a dress
Linda Thompson | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner

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Thompson said wearing lavender to Elvis’ funeral would be “the perfect symbol of our union.” In addition, Thompson felt that wearing the color lavender would be her way of “communicating with Elvis’ spirit.” She would feel “smug” because she knew the King so well and would be able to communicate to his spirit by wearing the outfit.

What was Elvis Presley’s funeral like?

Rolling Stone reports the funeral attracted about 75,000 people who wanted to see the body lying in state. In contrast, only about 200 people who were close to Elvis got to attend the services. Even while the world had its sights on the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Thompson felt she had a special connection to him — all because of a certain fashion choice.

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