Skip to main content

Priscilla Presley met Elvis when she was 14 years old, and they began their relationship when she was still in high school. Her parents disapproved of the relationship. According to Priscilla, they struggled to understand why Elvis wanted to date a teenager. Priscilla felt the same way. She wasn’t sure what Elvis saw in her.

Priscilla Presley wasn’t sure what Elvis saw in her

When Priscilla and Elvis met, he was stationed in Germany with the Army. Her family was also there because of her father’s position in the military. Eventually, Elvis moved back to the United States and, when he left, asked Priscilla to finish out high school in Memphis with him. Her parents reluctantly agreed. 

They weren’t sure the relationship would work out. They didn’t know what an adult celebrity and their teenage daughter had in common. Priscilla felt similarly. While she loved Elvis, she wasn’t sure what he saw in her.

A black and white picture of Elvis holding Priscilla Presley's hand and kissing her cheek. She wears her wedding dress and a veil and he wears a tuxedo. They sit at a table.
Priscilla and Elvis Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

“In truth, I was as mystified as my parents were about why Elvis wanted me to come live with him,” she wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “I think he was attracted by the fact that I had a normal, stable childhood, and that I was very responsible, having helped my parents raise my younger brothers and sister.”

She added that it also helped that physically, she was his type. 

“I also had all the physical attributes that Elvis liked, the fundamentals he could use in turning me into his ideal woman,” she wrote. “In short, I had everything that Elvis had been looking for in a woman: youth and innocence, total devotion, and no problems of my own. And I was hard to get.”

She believed he liked her ability to keep secrets

Priscilla believed that one of her winningest qualities for Elvis was the fact that she was able to keep her mouth shut. When she visited his home in Germany, she didn’t tell anyone about it. He liked this. 

“He said, ‘You never told them you came to my house? Really?'” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “He just was actually stunned that I didn’t reveal it.”

She remained this way for the rest of their relationship.

Priscilla Presley worried she wouldn’t live up to Elvis’ vision of a wife

While Priscilla knew that Elvis loved her, she worried she wasn’t living up to his hopes for her. He liked her looks, but he also changed them, shaping her into his ideal woman.

A black and white picture of Priscilla Presley wearing long gloves and holding a dog.
Priscilla Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Priscilla Presley Said Elvis’ ‘Greatest Fear’ in Their Relationship Led Him to Pull Away From Her

“Would I ever be able to live up to his vision of how his ideal woman should behave and appear?” she wrote. “She had to be sensitive, loving, and extremely understanding, meeting unusual demands any average woman might reject. This included being left behind when he made spur-of-the-moment, questionable ‘business’ trips.”

When Priscilla questioned his behavior, made suggestions about his life, or altered her appearance without his pre-approval, he lashed out. Part of the reason they divorced was her dawning understanding that she would never grow as her own person with him as her husband.