Why Did Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley Get Divorced?

Although Priscilla Presley considers Elvis Presley “the love of her life,” she knew at the age of 27 that she had to put an end to their marriage. Priscilla had been with the king of rock and roll for over a decade, and even though she never stopped loving him, she needed to experience life outside of their relationship. Yet, even so, Priscilla claims that leaving Elvis was the hardest decision she ever had to make.   

Elvis Presley And His Wife Priscilla
Elvis Presley shows off his wife Princilla’s three-carat diamond wedding ring on their wedding day in Las Vegas | Bettman/Getty Images

How did Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley meet?

Priscilla had been invited to attend one of Elvis’s parties at the age of 14. Being such a fan of Elvis, she couldn’t believe that he wanted her there, and felt completely out of place. 

Yet regardless, Priscilla reveals in her memoir that Elvis couldn’t take his eyes off her all night. When he started performing for his guests, he kept trying to get Priscilla’s attention. 

Priscilla Presley
Priscilla Presley | James Whitmore Merlin/Getty Images

“I glanced up and saw Elvis trying to get my attention,” she writes. “The less response I showed, the more he began singing just for me. I couldn’t believe that Elvis was trying to impress me.” 

“I felt like Cinderella,” she adds. 

Elvis Presley and his bride, Priscilla Ann Beaulieu smile happily as they prepare to board a chartered jet airplane
Elvis Presley and his bride, Priscilla Ann Beaulieu smile happily as they prepare to board a chartered jet airplane | Bettmann/Getty Images

RELATED: Elvis Presley Sang This Famous Dolly Parton Song to Priscilla After Their Divorce

And although Priscilla thought she’d never see the famous rock star again, he continued to invite her over to attend more parties. She was amazed that the most famous man in the world wanted her. And the more she got to know Elvis, the more she grew to love him.  

Why did Priscilla Presley end her relationship with Elvis Presley?

Elvis Presley leaves Santa Monica California Superior Court after being granted a divorce from his wife Priscilla
Elvis Presley leaves Santa Monica California Superior Court after being granted a divorce from his wife Priscilla | Bettmann/Getty Images

Despite Priscilla’s passion for Elvis, she admits that being his lover was too demanding. The singer wouldn’t let Priscilla have a career or a life of her own, which often left her feeling incredibly isolated. Elvis expected Priscilla to drop everything for him, and eventually, it became too exhausting. 

Priscilla Presley in 1974
Priscilla Presley in 1974 | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

“I didn’t have my teenage years as a normal girl, obviously, so I had to adapt,” she reveals on Loose Women. “So I just kind of followed what he did. I mean, you lived his life,” she says. “You saw the movies he wanted to see. You listened to the music he wanted to listen to, and you go to places that he would go. I honestly didn’t have my own life. … So I really kind of lost myself.”

“I did not divorce him because I didn’t love him,” she continues. “He was the love of my life, but I had to find out about the world.” 

Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley remained close friends after their divorce

Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley & Elvis Presley
Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley & Elvis Presley | Magma Agency/WireImage

Following their divorce, she and Elvis remained incredibly close. They even began to love and understand each other more-so than during their marriage. 

And when Priscilla found out that Elvis had died, she admits that she too “wanted to die.”

Elvis Presley and Priscilla with baby Lisa Marie
Elvis Presley with his wife Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and their 4 day old daughter Lisa Marie Presley on February 5, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

“I locked myself in the bedroom and left instructions that I would not speak to anyone, that I wanted to be alone,” she writes in her memoir. “In fact, I wanted to die. Love is very deceiving. Though we were divorced, Elvis was still an essential part of my life. Over the last years, we’d become good friends, admitting the mistakes we’d made in the past and just beginning to laugh at our shortcomings.”

She continues, saying, “We had a bond: We’d become closer and had more understanding and patience for each other than in our married life. We even talked of one day… And now he was gone.”