Elvis Presley began dating Priscilla Beaulieu when she was 14 years old. They met in Germany, where he and her father were stationed with the military. She quickly fell for him even though she knew he would soon be returning to the United States. Elvis was also aware of this and of the 10-year age difference between the two of them. When she expressed her love for him, he hushed her, saying that people had told him it shouldn’t be possible.
Elvis Presley didn’t want Priscilla Presley to tell him she loved him
Elvis met Priscilla at a party in Germany, where a mutual friend introduced the two of them. Priscilla almost immediately revealed that she was a ninth grader, but this did not halt Elvis’ pursuit of her. Though he laughed about her being a “baby,” she believed he spent the night trying to impress her.
Before long, they were spending nearly every night together. Elvis met her parents and spoke to Priscilla at length about his own family. It didn’t take long for Priscilla to fall for him. When she expressed this to Elvis, though, he pulled away.
“Daddy keeps reminding me of your age and that it can’t be possible,” he told her, per the book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick. “When I go home … only time will tell.”
When Elvis left for the United States, he promised Priscilla he’d stay in contact. She said that phone calls from him came sporadically, though, causing her to doubt his commitment to her.
Priscilla Presley said Elvis’ honesty showed her how he felt about her
Though Elvis did not want to tell Priscilla he loved her in the earliest stages of their relationship, Priscilla believed he showed her in other ways. He opened up to her about his childhood and the loss of his mother. The vulnerability he showed her gave her confidence in the new relationship.
“I really felt I got to know who Elvis Presley was during that time,” she said. “Not with ego — not the star that he felt he should portray. I saw him raw, totally raw, I saw him as he really was after he lost his mother.”
The other people in his life could also tell that he had fallen for Priscilla. Though Elvis dated many women — and continued to date them throughout his relationship with Priscilla — this seemed different.
The musician was dating other women at the time
Elvis was involved with several women at this time, and most seriously with actor Anita Wood. He dated both Wood and Priscilla for long enough that both women became aware of one another. Eventually, Wood ended her relationship with Elvis because of Priscilla.
“When I was coming down the back stairs into the kitchen, I heard Elvis say, ‘I’m having the hardest time making up my mind between the two,’” Wood told Express.
Wood walked into the kitchen and told Elvis that he didn’t have to make up his mind. She was leaving him.
“And he just said, ‘I pray to God that I’m doing the right thing by letting you go,’” she recalled. “And I said, ‘You can’t keep me from going, I’m going.’ I mean I was really upset, I was mad, I was hurt, and he wasn’t going to have to make that decision.”
Wood was far from the last woman Elvis would date while involved with Priscilla.