In honor of what would have been Elvis Presley’s 87th birthday, Priscilla Presley spent the day in at his former home in Memphis, Tennessee.
“In Memphis Celebrating Elvis’ Birthday 45 yrs after his passing,” Priscilla tweeted. “Thank you to the huge support of Elvis fans in front of us.” Alongside the tweet, she shared a photo of herself cutting a cake in honor of the King.
Priscilla and Elvis were married from 1967 to 1973. In 1968, Priscilla gave birth to a daughter, Lisa Marie. Throughout their relationship, Elvis conducted numerous extramarital affairs, which led Priscilla to do the same. As a result, she left the King. Even so, Priscilla never loved anyone as she loved Elvis. She even wrote in her memoir, Elvis and Me, that she “wanted to die” after discovering his death.
“It’s a little bittersweet for me to be here in front of Graceland,” Priscilla said to the fans who had gathered to celebrate Elvis. “It’s 45 years since his passing and I still can’t believe it. I still think he’s here. [I] still feel him here. I go in Graceland and I feel his spirit, I know he’s living there. He’s there, trust me.”
“This was the first place he would come to after a movie, after a show, after tours,” Elvis’s former wife continued. “He would come home. This is home. He couldn’t wait to be at Graceland. And the more I come, I see why. It’s just a place of calmness and memories and friends. It was where he completely let go.”
She then thanked the fans for paying their respects to Elvis. Priscilla said: “I was a nervous wreck on the plane wondering ‘what if nobody showed up?’ [I]know how cold it is. But I know Elvis fans will always show up.”
2022 Marks the Year of Elvis Presley
To commemorate 45 years without Elvis, Graceland will be hosting a series of events and exhibits throughout 2022. Titled “Elvis 45,” the celebration concludes in August at the actual anniversary of his death.
“I guess it proves what devoted fans Elvis has to be here in the cold,” said Jack Soden, Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO. “You’re going to be hearing 45 a lot this year. And the only way that legacy would be what it is – almost bigger than what it was 45 years ago – is you all. You have kept the legacy alive and growing. We’re here because you’re here.”
As a result, the estate hopes to honor his legacy for the fans. DJ Argo of Elvis Radio elaborated: “Not only is it the 40th anniversary of Graceland opening to the public, but it’s the 65th anniversary of Elvis purchasing this beautiful home. And it is hard to believe that it was 45 years ago that we lost Elvis physically. But we are paying tribute all year long at Graceland to the man, his music, and his enduring legacy.”