‘Trapped’ Elvis wept the night before his eight-minute wedding to Priscilla

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Priscilla Presley discusses her relationship with Elvis in 1985

The happy pictures sped around the world and fans rejoiced to see their idol wed his long-term girlfriend on May 1, 1967.

Elvis Aaron Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu Presley at Las Vegas’ Aladdin Hotel in the rather whirlwind showbusiness wedding of the year.

The beaming couple posed for photographs, had a quick breakfast celebration and then jetted off to a glamorous (if just four-day) honeymoon in Palm Springs.

Priscilla Presley was still only 21 at the time, although they had been together since she was 14 in 1960, and has always maintained she was a virgin on her wedding night.

Exactly nine months later they had a daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and it all sounded like a fairy tale.

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Elvis and Priscilla wedding photo

Elvis was found crying the night before Priscilla wedding (Image: GETTY)

Yet, Elvis’ family housekeeper Alberta Holman said she found him crying about the upcoming wedding in 1967. When she asked him what was wrong, he gave a heartbreaking answer.

Alberta had been with the family for years and had been very close to his mother, Gladys, and mothered the star when she died. The King nicknamed her Alberta VO5 after the famous hair product brand, Alberto VO5.

After Gladys passed away, Alberta used to make Elvis his favourite meal of bacon, hash browns and black-eyed peas.

The biography Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske, described an emotional encounter between The King and his cook just hours before his wedding.

Elvis' maid Alberta

Elvis’ maid Alberta outside Graceland (Image: GETTY)

Alberta asked the star why he didn’t just cancel it if it was making him so unhappy and he apparently replied, “I don’t have a choice.”

There were rumours that Priscilla’s father, angry with the star after so many years living with his daughter, threatened to prosecute Elvis for taking a minor across state lines unless he made an honest woman of her.

He had been travelling with Priscilla to Los Angeles and Las Vegas when she was 15, which was contrary to the agreement made with her parents when they permitted her to leave Germany to move to the US.

Elvis had assured them that their daughter would remain in Memphis, chaperoned by the star’s grandmother Minnie Mae, living in a separate house and attending school. Instead, Priscilla even wrote fake postcards which were mailed from Memphis by staff while she was travelling with Elvis.

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Priscilla with Elvis grandmother Minnnie Mae in 1960

Priscilla with Elvis grandmother Minnnie Mae in 1960 (Image: GETTY )

However, other claims suggested Priscilla herself had pressured Elvis into marriage, threatening to go to the press with the details about their relationship, especially when she was 14 and 15.

Priscilla has always denied this. Asked by Barbara Walters what had really happened, she said; “I think the pressure was on somewhat. We’d been together six years, the relationship was going well. The suggestion I think came from Colonel Parker (Elvis’ manager) ‘Either you should get married or go on. If you’re not getting married, then what are you doing?’”

There was certainly very little romance to the wedding day itself…

Elvis and Priscilla wedding cake

Elvis and Priscilla cut their wedding cake (Image: GETTY)

The ceremony sounded more like a business transaction and publicity stunt than romantic dream – and it also alienated some of Elvis’ oldest and closest friends.

The entire wedding was arranged by Parker and lasted only eight minutes, including vows and exchanging of rings. It was followed by a quick press conference and a $10,000 breakfast reception, attended by friends, family, and business associates from Elvis’ film and record companies MGM, RCA, and the William Morris Agency.

Some of Elvis’ closest friends were not invited to the actual wedding ceremony, including Red West, who had been with the star from the very beginning and had asked Elvis to be his Best Man. West was so angry he quit working for Elvis.

Elvis and Priscilla leave on their honeymoon

Elvis and Priscilla leave on their honeymoon (Image: GETTY)

Throughout his whole life as a star, Elvis repeatedly gave women hope he would marry them, but never followed through, until, it seems, he had no choice.

He famously idealised youth and innocence in women and enjoyed the chase. He was obsessed with cuddling and baby talk and apparently insisted Priscilla remained a virgin. Once a woman became a wife and a mother, it changed the way Elvis looked at her.

Priscilla, herself, was not pleased when she immediately fell pregnant, fearing it would disrupt the way Elvis saw her – and she was right. She later said that he stopped coming to her bed at all.

Elvis Presley important dates

Elvis Presley important dates (Image: GETTY)

Priscilla later told Barbara Walters: “Elvis had a hard time dealing with me being a mother and the little girl that I was to him. I didn’t know it then, but that’s what I realised in later years – that he was a father to me.”

Elvis had not wanted that to change and when it did, it was the beginning of the end for their relationship. Although Elvis was a completely devoted and adoring father to Lisa Marie, his feelings for Priscilla had changed beyond repair.

After living increasingly apart, they separated in February 1972.