Elvis Presley’s Father Vernon Shares Why He Thinks Son’s Marriage To Priscilla Ended


From 1967 to 1973, Priscilla and Elvis Presley were married, following a rocky yet famous lead-up. They separated roughly four years before his death, and Elvis’ father Vernon Presley once claimed he knew the “real” reason why things didn’t work out.

The two met when Elvis was stationed in Germany during his time with the military and Priscilla was already won over as a fan – but also just a freshman in high school. Ultimately, though, Vernon himself most implicated himself as the biggest hurdle in their relationship.


Priscilla and Vernon agree: he was the biggest opponent to her relationship with Elvis

Newlyweds PRISCILLA PRESLEY and ELVIS PRESLEY shortly after the marriage ceremony, 1967 / Everett Collection

When their courtship began, Elvis himself immediately noted of the freshman Priscilla, “Why, you’re just a baby.” But it was neither distance nor age that the famous family considered their biggest challenge; it was Vernon Presley.


RELATED: Elvis 24, Priscilla 14: A Closer Look at Their Age and Courtship

In 2015, Priscilla herself shared that her father-in-law believed the relationship would ruin his son’s rising and monumental career. He felt it right through their 1967 wedding, just a year before the birth of their daughter. The marriage itself didn’t last, true enough, sometimes attributed to an alleged affair between Priscilla and her karate instructor, but it did not dampen Elvis’ career trajectory.

Vernon explains his reasoning

“I believe that Elvis’ marriage to her failed simply because he realized after the wedding that he didn’t really want to be married,” asserted Vernon Presley. “When he was traveling, it wasn’t practical for Priscilla to go along all the time, especially after Lisa was born. These separations put a strain on their relationship.”

However, when speaking of Priscilla herself, Vernon always offered words of praise. “We didn’t care whom he married just so long as she was the girl with whom he’d be happiest,” he explained, adding, “Being an Air Force officer’s daughter, Priscilla had been brought up to be disciplined and strong-minded, but she is also a tender and loving girl.”

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