Priscilla Presley pays emotional tribute to daughter Lisa Marie at Graceland Memorial

The service took place on the front lawn of the famous estate and members of the public were been invited to attend, ITV News' Ellie Pitt reports

Priscilla Presley paid an emotional tribute to her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley on Sunday, as hundreds of mourners gathered at the Graceland memorial service to remember her life. For years the sprawling estate has been the destination for those paying tribute to Lisa Marie's famous father Elvis, who died in 1977, and is buried, alongside other members of the Presley family, at the 120 acres home.

But following her death on January 12, the iconic home in South Memphis has become the site where mourners have flocked to pay tribute to the singer-song-writer.

The service took place on the front lawn of the famous estate and members of the public were invited to attend the event, with an online live stream also made available.

Priscilla Presley thanked everyone for coming to honour her daughter, who was the only child of Elvis Presley.

Priscilla Presley speaking at the public memorial for her daughter. Credit: PA

Lisa Marie died aged 54, hours after being taken to hospital.

She is survived by daughter Riley Keough, a 33-year-old actress, and 14-year-old twin daughters Harper and Finley Lockwood.

Priscilla Presley read a poem written by her granddaughter, Lisa Marie’s daughter, which said: “I have no idea how to put my mother into words, the truth is there are too many.

“Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world.

“But mama was my icon, my role model, my superhero, and much more ways than one.”

Elvis Presley poses with wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie. Credit: AP

A poem by Lisa’s other daughter, Riley, was also read out, which said: “I hope I can love my daughter that way you loved me. The way you love my brother and my sisters. Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my empathy, my courage, my sense of humour.

“My manners, my temper, my wildness, my tenacity. I’m a product of your heart. My sisters are a product of your heart. My brother is a product of your heart.

“We are you. You are us, my eternal love. I hope you finally know how loved you were here. Thank you for trying so hard for us. If I didn’t tell you every day, thank you.”

Fans line up to enter Graceland for the memorial service for Lisa Marie Presley. Credit: AP Photo/John Amis

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was also among those who paid tribute to Lisa Marie, calling her "sissie" as she offered her support to the late singer’s children.

In her tribute, the duchess referenced the late Queen, quoting the advice her mother-in-law had given her.

“Sissie, this is for you with affection," she said.

"My late mother-in-law used to say ‘That nothing can be said, can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments because grief is the price we pay for love’, and how right she was.

Sarah, Duchess of York speaking at the public memorial for her friend. Credit: PA

“Today we talk about Lisa Marie. We look at Priscilla, as a mother to Lisa Marie. We look to Lisa Marie and say you lost a son. Mothers losing children, there are no words for it. “So, today we talk about action and action is the way we can go forward, we can light the flame, so for Riley, Harper and Finley, and for the entire family, we march forward in support of you, all of us are with you and we will help you as best we can.

"If you just put out your hand, we will be there.”

'Grief is the price we pay for love,': The Duchess of York paid a heartfelt tribute to Lisa Marie

The former Mayor of Memphis, meanwhile, recalled the “hard times” the city faced when Lisa Marie was born in 1968 but how important her birth was at that moment. During his speech, A C Wharton said before Beyoncé and Jay Z had their daughter Blue Ivy and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their son Archie, Elvis and Priscilla had their daughter Lisa Marie. As the only daughter of the King of Rock and Roll, he described her as “the conduit to the throne” and “the keeper of the flame”. Wharton added: “I don’t know much about Hollywood, I can’t speak for New York or any other city where Lisa may have spent time, but I can tell you that Lisa Marie was this city’s precious jewel.”

The service also featured a number of musical tributes, including from Alanis Morissette, who delivered an emotional rendition of her song Rest.

Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose performed the band’s song November Rain, and Billy Corgan sang To Sheila by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Bouquets of flowers and a balloon line the stone wall at Graceland. Credit: AP Photo/Adrian Sainz

Members of the public were invited to attend the service, but were also encouraged to donate to The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation in lieu of flowers. The foundation offers support to various charitable organisations, especially focusing on arts, education, and children’s programmes in the Memphis/Whitehaven area.

Lisa Marie's death came shortly after she attended the 80th annual Golden Globe awards, where actor Austin Butler took home the best actor award for his portrayal of her father. Speaking at a pre-ceremony event, she said she had been “overwhelmed” by the film and the effect that it had. “I’m very proud and I know that my father would be very proud… I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” she said.

The singer was married four times, first to musician Danny Keough, then singer Michael Jackson, actor Nicolas Cage, and music producer Michael Lockwood.

Lisa Marie will be buried at Graceland next to her son, Benjamin Keough, who died in 2020, aged 27. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled his death as a suicide.

Following in the footsteps of her father, Lisa Marie pursued a career in the music industry, releasing three albums; To Whom It May Concern in 2003, Now What in 2005, and Storm & Grace in 2012. In 2018, she featured on a new record, titled Where No One Stands Alone, which was released to celebrate her father’s love of gospel music, and featured 14 original performances recorded by him.

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