Elvis Presley divorce: Why did Elvis and Priscilla split?

Priscilla Presley discusses her relationship with Elvis in 1985

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Elvis Presley met his future wife Priscilla, then 14-years-old, in 1959 while stationed in Germany during his stint in the army. The pair quickly became enamoured with each other and fours years later she moved to Graceland to be with him, tying the knot in 1967. She was given a new hairdo and clothes, to make sure she looked like the perfect wife for The King. But they divorced not long after their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born – so what happened between them?

Why did Elvis and Priscilla Presley split?

The reason behind Elvis and Priscilla’s split was pretty difficult to determine, but it seemed like several factors meant the pair could not be in a relationship any more.

However, they left their divorce court holding hands, seemingly still close friends despite not being able to make it work romantically.

It was on February 23, 1972, that Priscilla moved out of Elvis’ home in California, moving into a two-bedroom apartment.

They had been married for nearly five years and had a daughter, Lisa Marie, nine months exactly from their wedding.

But over time things grew tiring for Priscilla, who once called herself Elvis’ ‘living doll’ due to the way he ‘controlled’ her look.

Describing how he would speak to her, Priscilla said Elvis would tell her: “You need to apply more makeup around your eyes. Make them stand out more.

“They’re too plain naturally. I like a lot of makeup. It defines your features.”

She would also dye her hair the same colour as his to match, and wore more adult clothes after she left her family in Germany to spend time with him in Los Angeles.

Eventually, this became too difficult for Priscilla to manage, and she felt she had ‘lost herself’ while trying to be Elvis’ perfect wife.

She told Loose Women: “I didn’t have my teenage years as a normal girl, obviously, so I had to adapt.

“So I just kind of followed what he did. I mean, you lived his life.

“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. He was the love of my life, but I had to find out about the world.”

One of the interests Elvis was keen for Priscilla to take up was karate, of which he was a major fan.

She set him up with an instructor, Mike Stone, who ended up becoming more than just a teacher to Priscilla.

Speaking again in her memoir, Priscilla said: “The training was incredibly exacting. Over and over we’d executive the same movement until perfected…

“Now I could understand Elvis’s enslavement to karate. It was an accomplishment, an achievement of confidence and physical master of self…

“Elvis was right. Mike exuded confidence and style, as well as a good deal of personal charm and wit. A deep friendship would develop…

“I was confronted with the harsh realisation that living the way I had for so long was very unnatural and detrimental to my well-being.

“My relationship with Mike had now developed into an affair.”

After Priscilla walked out in February 1972, her divorce from Elvis was finalised on October 9, 1973.

In the settlement, the couple agreed to share custody of their daughter, Lisa Marie, while Priscilla was also given a cash payment of $725,000 (£518,500.)

She received five percent of Elvis’ publishing companies, as well as half of what was earned through selling their home in Beverly Hills.

Priscilla also received spousal and child support from Elvis, who at the time was earning huge amounts of money touring and performing in Las Vegas.

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