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Even after Priscilla Presley graduated from high school, she worried her mother and father would make her move back in with them. She’d been living with Elvis Presley at Graceland while she finished high school. After this, she had no plans of moving back home. Still, she felt she had to be cautious with what she told her parents. Priscilla was so concerned when her parents visited her at Elvis’ Bel Air home that she told her father not to ask any questions. 

Priscilla Presley worried about her father’s curiosity when he visited her

When Priscilla first moved in with Elvis, her parents lived in Germany. Eventually, though, they moved to Sacramento, which meant they were far closer when Priscilla and Elvis were in Los Angeles. She tried to keep her parents and Elvis apart, but they were naturally curious about her relationship. Eventually, they insisted on driving her back to her Bel Air home and staying for dinner.

“That evening when we had dinner, Elvis was charming and wonderful, but I was too petrified to eat,” she wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “I was always anxious whenever Elvis and my father got together, since I never knew what Dad was going to ask him. Elvis used to get annoyed because so many people were curious about the ‘regulars,’ always asking what this one did, or that one did, or why Elvis needed to have so many of them around him.”

A black and white picture of Priscilla and Elvis Presley standing in front of an open door to an airplane.
Priscilla and Elvis Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

The “regulars” were Elvis’ friends and employees who were always around Graceland. Priscilla was so concerned about Elvis lashing out at her father that she told him to keep his questions to himself. This request didn’t go over well.

“When I would try and tell Dad to be less curious, that only made him more curious,” she wrote. “‘Why can’t I ask questions?’ he’d demand. ‘What’s there to hide?'”

Priscilla Presley was afraid her mother and father would make her go home

Ultimately, there was a lot to hide. Priscilla didn’t want her parents to know that she was sharing a bedroom with Elvis or that she had no plans to attend college. She worried that if they discovered these truths about her relationship, they’d drag her back home with them.

“I continued to guard my lifestyle,” she wrote. “I was always afraid they’d look too closely at my relationship with Elvis.”

They were already confused about Elvis’ intentions for the relationship, telling her that if he had no plans for marriage, she should leave. 

“Hearing this was my greatest fear,” she wrote. “I always told them, ‘We’re doing great. I’m sure everything will work out fine.’ I’d give them vanilla ice cream with candy and whipped cream and a cherry on top — so that everything sounded really promising.”

Elvis used her parents as a threat against her

Priscilla was terrified of having to leave Graceland and return to her parents’ home. Elvis recognized this and used it as a way to control her. When she asked him if he was having affairs, he told her to mind her own business, adding that it might be time for her to visit her parents. 

A black and white picture of Priscilla Presley holding an Elvis Presley record under her arm. She stands near a record player.
Priscilla Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

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On one occasion, he made her pack her bags as he angrily shouted for a regular to book her a plane ticket. As a sobbing Priscilla prepared to walk out the door, he told her he hadn’t been serious.

“I was relieved and happy to be back in his arms,” she wrote. “Anything he’d have said would have made sense to me in that moment. What I didn’t realize until later was that this was Elvis’ technique of keeping me under control.”