Priscilla Presley has told her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley she will always be loved at an emotional memorial service for the singer.
She spoke at the star-studded ‘celebration of life’ ceremony on the front lawn of Elvis’ Graceland estate on Sunday (22.01.23) after 54 year old Lisa was killed by two heart attacks on January 12, with her family signing a Do Not Resuscitate order while she lay in a Los Angeles hospital with loved ones including Priscilla at her side.
Priscilla read a poem by one of mum-of-four Lisa’s 14-year-old twin daughters Finley and Harper as thousands gathered for her farewell, before performances by stars including Alanis Morissette and Axl Rose and a procession to Lisa’s resting place alongside her dad and son Benjamin, who took his life aged 27 in July 2020.
The poem hailed Lisa Marie an “icon, a role model and a superhero”, and, referring to her heartbreak over Benjamin’s death, said: “She always knew she wouldn’t be here too long... some say a broken heart killed her.”
Priscilla, 77, added: “Our hearts are broken. Lisa, we all love you.”
Lisa Marie’s other daughter, actress Riley Keough, 33, was unable to stand on stage and give her eulogy, so her husband Ben Smith-Petersen, 31, read it on her behalf.
Riley’s farewell recalled about her mum: “I remember you driving me in my car seat playing Aretha Franklin. I remember the feeling I’d get when you picked me up from school.
“Thank you for showing me that love is the only thing that matters in this world.”
Concluding her and her siblings were “products of your heart”, Riley’s message added: “We are you, you are us. Thank you for trying so hard for all of us.”
Former Memphis Mayor AC Wharton added Lisa Marie “was the jewel of this city”.
Priscilla was seen arriving with her family, including son Navarone Garibaldi, daughter Riley and Lisa Marie’s ex-husband, Michael Lockwood, 61.
It is unclear if Lisa’s twins were in attendance for the public service, or if they only went to the private family memorial that took place before the public service.
Lisa’s close friend Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, 63, arrived a few minutes before the Presley family and Austin Butler, 31, who played Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s film about the singer, arrived hand-in-hand with his girlfriend Kaia Gerber, 21.
Austin’s sister Ashley Butler, 37, is also said to have joined the event.
Elvis’ song ‘He Touched Me’ was played while a live stream of the memorial started, before Jason Clark and the Tennessee Mass Choir sang a version of ‘Amazing Grace’.
Billy Corgan, 55, from Smashing Pumpkins sang his group’s 1998 song ‘To Sheila’, and Alanis Morissette, 48, performed her 2021 tune ‘Rest’.
Axl Rose, 60, then performed Guns N’ Roses’ hit ‘November Rain’, with the memorial ending with a message stating donations in Lisa’s memory could be made to the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.
After the service, there was a procession to Lisa's final resting place in Graceland’s Meditation Garden.
Lisa Marie’s grey marble sarcophagus sat next to her burial spot in the same spot as her son Benjamin’s, and photos of them together were placed in front of their monuments.
Benjamin’s resting place had to be moved slightly to make room for his mum’s.
Lisa Marie’s body was on display to the public during the celebration of life at the family's estate, livestreamed from 9am.
Mourners held flowers as they waited for the service to begin under the trees of Graceland, owned by Lisa Marie and where she lived with Elvis when she was a child.