Priscilla Presley On the Story Behind the Famous Photo of Her Waving Goodbye to Elvis

Priscilla Presley On the Story Behind the Famous Photo of Her Waving Goodbye to Elvis

Elvis Presley always insisted on looking his best, even in the privacy of his own home.

“Even at Graceland, he would be dressed up coming down the staircase. No pajamas,” Priscilla Presley, 77, recalled about her late ex-husband in a recent Vogue video.

The “Dallas” star, who was married to Elvis from 1967 to 1973, shared some intimate anecdotes about the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll as she reflected on her own looks through the years.

For Elvis, she said, looking put-together at all times was a way of keeping the spark alive.

“We always dressed up. Elvis never liked that feeling or look of being too relaxed,” she said. “Elvis had this idea (of) always looking good for each other, always making sure that that never lapsed. The fact is, we cared for each other, loved each other, had fun with each other, but never to get so relaxed that it was kind of sloppy.”

She also shared some details about her early relationship with the singer, whom she met in Germany when she was just 14.

Elvis had been stationed in Germany during his Army career, and when it came time for him to return to the U.S. in 1960, Presley recalled wondering if their romance would continue.

“I dreaded this day very much because I didn’t know, actually, if I was ever going to see him again,” she said, looking back at a photo of herself in a belted dress and headscarf and she waved goodbye to him.

She recalled the sadness of saying goodbye to Elvis in Germany as a teenager. (ullstein bild / Getty Images)
She recalled the sadness of saying goodbye to Elvis in Germany as a teenager. (ullstein bild / Getty Images)

“One request that he asked that I not be teary eyed, so you see me smiling here,” she said. “There are other pictures where I am down, looking away, and knowing that I may never see him again. So that was the beginning.”

Their relationship, of course, did survive the distance, and they eventually tied the knot in Las Vegas in 1967.

Even before they married, the couple was being tracked by paparazzi, and Presley recalled the challenges of shopping for a wedding dress without tipping off the press.

“I would go into stores, people would recognize me and of course then know there was a wedding ahead,” she told Vogue. “This was such a well-kept secret because we wanted it to be our wedding with our friends and not loaded with paparazzi.”

Presley revealed that she went under cover to buy her wedding dress so that paparazzi would not be alerted to her upcoming marriage. (Frank Edwards / Fotos International / Getty Images)
Presley revealed that she went under cover to buy her wedding dress so that paparazzi would not be alerted to her upcoming marriage. (Frank Edwards / Fotos International / Getty Images)

She explained that she asked a male friend to come wedding dress shopping with her and pose as her future groom, and said she wore sunglasses to avoid being recognized.

Presley also revealed how she achieved the iconic bouffant she rocked in the ‘60s.

“That’s a pretty big hairdo I have. This was the style,” she said of one particularly gravity-defying look.

“That was my hair. Not all of it—I had a little bump underneath and my hair went on top of it,” she explained. “And I did this especially for Elvis. He had gone away to do a movie and I wanted to surprise him. There was a lot of teasing in this hair, a lot of teasing. That was huge in the ‘60s.”

She added that the look took about an hour and a half to achieve.

“The problem was trying to keep it that way for a week because we just got our hair done once a week, that was the deal!” she said, laughing.

She was still rocking a sky-high bouffant when she and Elvis welcomed their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in 1968.

Presley looked back on a photo of herself as a new mom sporting a pink dress, an outfit that was re-created in Baz Luhrmann’s new “Elvis” biopic.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley cradled their newborn daughter, Lisa Marie, in February 1968. (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Elvis and Priscilla Presley cradled their newborn daughter, Lisa Marie, in February 1968. (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

She also shared Elvis’s sweet reaction to becoming a dad.

“He was looking at her like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have a child. What do I do?’ He was so afraid to hold her,” she said. “I think a lot of men feel that way. He was so frightened that he would drop her.”

The actor also reflected on how her style changed through the years.

Presley rocked a denim outfit as she posed outside her clothing shop, Bis & Beau Boutique, in Beverly Hills, California. (Ron Galella / Getty Images)
Presley rocked a denim outfit as she posed outside her clothing shop, Bis & Beau Boutique, in Beverly Hills, California. (Ron Galella / Getty Images)

After her split with Elvis, she co-founded a clothing boutique in Los Angeles, Bis & Beau Boutique, that attracted celebrity clients including Cher and Barbra Streisand.

“Different eyebrows, wearing lashes…I’m starting to free up a little bit, feeling more sure of myself,” she said of her style during that time.

She then looked back on her style in the ‘80s and beyond, including her fabulous, sequined outfits on “Dallas” and one dress she particularly loved when she competed on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2008.

Kelsey McNeal (Disney Entertainment / Getty Images)
Kelsey McNeal (Disney Entertainment / Getty Images)

She ended with a shout-out to an earth-toned dress she wore to the premiere of “Elvis” at Cannes earlier this year.

Presley attended the Cannes premiere of
Presley attended the Cannes premiere of

“I like this dress because it kind of matched the color of my hair,” she said.

She also gushed about Austin Butler’s portrayal of Elvis in the 2022 biopic, calling his performance “so unbelievable, it’s frightening.”