Before his death, Elvis Presley was engaged to his soon-to-be-bride Ginger Alden for seven months. He popped the question on January 26, 1977.
However, not many people are familiar with the way “The King” decided to get down on one knee. He professed his undying love and commitment to Alden while the two were in a bathroom in Graceland Mansion.
Elvis Presley Proposes
Alden reflected on her life with Presley in her memoir “Elvis & Ginger.” She looked back on the moment he proposed in the palatial master bathroom. She claimed it was his favorite room in the mansion and that it “was his sanctuary.”
While some people may cringe at the thought of a marriage proposal in the proximity of a toilet, Alden remembers the moment fondly. She wrote, “(He) seated me in a chair and said many beautiful words to me and asked me to marry him.”
He said, “Ginger, I’ve been searching for love so long and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find it in my own backyard. I’ve been sixty percent happy and forty percent happy, but never a hundred percent. I’ve loved before but I’ve never been in love. Ginger, I’m asking you: Will you marry me?”
According to an interview with Elvis Australia, Alden remembered the moment she got that 11.5-carat diamond from the man she saw a future with.
“I was called into his bathroom where Elvis then said many beautiful things ending his proposal with, ‘I never thought that I would find it in my own backyard, I’m asking you, will you marry me?’ I was so happy as he presented a green velvet box, opened it and placed a very large and beautiful diamond ring on my finger. My hand was shaking as we kissed and stepped out of the bathroom into his bedroom.”
Ginger and Elvis
While many people think of Priscilla Presley as Elvis’ lover, Ginger Alden was with Elvis at the very end of his life.
The two first met when she was 5. There was a 20-year age gap between them. Her father was a Public Relations Officer in the Army and had been invited to meet Elvis. This is how Ginger first met “The King,” Showbiz CheatSheet notes.
Then fast-forward to 1976, Alden’s sister, Terry, was asked if she would like to meet Elvis. She was Miss Tennessee at the time. She felt uncomfortable going alone so she brought her sister with her. The two really hit it off during that first meeting. Elvis informed the group that he was really only interested in seeing Ginger in the future.
Elvis and Ginger seemed to be passionately invested in their relationship. However, others on the outside had a different perspective.
Joe Esposito, Elvis’ road manager and friend, said to Elvis Australia, “Elvis liked Ginger Alden very much, but her mother pretty much controlled her and wanted to be around Elvis all the time. I don’t think he was going to marry her. He may have told her that he wanted to marry her and stuff like that, so she would stay around, but after a while, he started to date her, he started to date other women too. I don’t think he was ever going to marry her.”
Other people close to Elvis criticized their relationship. He had just had his relationship with Linda Thompson for four years. She was more experienced and outgoing, while Ginger Alden was a bit more reserved. Alden has spoken out about other people discussing her and Elvis’ relationship who she never really knew well.
Elvis Presley’s Last Year
Ginger Alden really offers a unique perspective on some of Elvis’ last moments.
Alden did not live in Graceland with him due to personal family reasons. However, she visited often and spoke about the extreme level of privacy Elvis sought during his life.
“He would often ask me who was downstairs, which was usually an employee with a date or friends and he would say that he didn’t want to go down then. After a tour, if he was in his pajamas or unshaven, he didn’t feel comfortable going downstairs where someone could be hanging out that he didn’t know,” Alden said.
The bathroom that he proposed in that he adored so much would actually end up being the same bathroom he died in.
It was Alden that discovered him dead. She looked for him at 2 p.m. that day. She found him in a “completely frozen in a seated position then fallen forward.”