When two monarchies collided, the world was shaken by the union of the King of Pop and the daughter of The King! But their story didn’t start in the 90s – Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis, known widely as the King, met briefly in the 70s […]
When two monarchies collided, the world was shaken by the union of the King of Pop and the daughter of The King!
But their story didn’t start in the 90s – Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis, known widely as the King, met briefly in the 70s following a concert in Las Vegas where they were formally introduced. The young Royals did not know each other properly until nearly two decades later when they were invited to dinner with a mutual friend in Los Angeles. At the time, Lisa was married to Danny Keough, and they shared two children, Riley & Benjamin.
Both quickly became friends, and it was reported that they would spend many hours talking on the phone and finding common ground, but their relationship did not progress past friends right away.
Michael turned to Lisa Marie for support when accusations were launched against him. One of the most difficult times of his life; as the investigation began, the strength of their relationship grew, and Michael plucked up the courage to ask Lisa Marie to marry him, over the phone.
Lisa Marie quickly separated from Keough in May 1994 and the new couple took multiple trips to Las Vegas and Florida, deepening their connection and finding common ground over their childhood experiences and life in the spotlight. Finally, they headed out to the Dominican Republic, where they married in an intimate and secret ceremony on 26th May 26 1994. The divorce from Keough was finalised just 20 days prior, but Michael and Lisa were ready for this next step.
“My married name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson. My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States weeks ago,” Lisa revealed in an official statement to the media. “I am very much in love with Michael. I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family.”
The newlyweds took a trip to Budapest, which emulated the first official outing for a royal copy after marriage. While in the Hungarian capital, they visited a children’s hospital on 6th August 1994, distributing gifts and toys to all the children and taking the time to speak with the families. Michael also worked on the “Teaser” for his HIStory
album and Lisa was spotted on set watching her husband at work.
Their next stop, billed as a Honeymoon of sorts, was France in September 1994, where Michael and Lisa Marie waved to photographers while visiting the Palace of Versailles in France. The couple looked giddy and in love while both dressed head-to-toe in stylish black ensembles. It was reported that they were looking for a castle in France to settle and raise a family, as Michael was keen to live outside of the U.S.
Work engagements beckoned and on 9th September 1994, Michael and Lisa officially opened the VMAs as husband and wife. It was clear by her expression that Lisa was nervous, and holding Michael’s hand the walked down the catwalk to rapturous applause. After welcoming everyone to the show, Michael expressed “Nobody thought this would last” and he and Lisa Marie engaged in a long kiss on stage, wrapping their arms around each other. It was reported that Lisa Marie wasn’t happy about the stunt, and they allegedly disagreed backstage after the kiss.
A key engagement for the Royal couple was at Neverland when they welcomed a group of children and their parents to the Ranch for World Congress Of Children which welcomed 14 children from 18 countries around the world to discuss important issues concerning the lives of children. Both looked pleased to be hosting the event and the photographs taken on that day are some of the most famous of the couple together.
With ongoing rumours flooding the tabloids about their marriage, the couple decided to sit down with Diane Sawyer in June 1995 to set the record straight and answer questions about their relationship. Sawyer was particularly rude and intrusive, yet Michael and Lisa Marie answered the questions posed and Lisa Marie brought a sense of firmness and understanding to areas of Michael’s life that were being questioned. They also revealed that they were planning to grow their family and hoped to have children someday.
Lisa Marie told Diane Sawyer that rumours the relationship was a publicity stunt to help shift the narrative on Michael were completely untrue.
“How can you fake this 24 hours a day, sleeping with somebody, waking with somebody?” she said. “I’m not going to marry somebody for any reason other than the fact that I fall in love with them.”
Sadly, the marriage didn’t last and the couple officially separated in December 1995 after Michael fell ill during rehearsals for his “One Night Only” Special in New York. The following month, on the 18th January 1996 Lisa Marie filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason. A statement from Lisa Marie’s publicist was released to the media and noted: “Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley have mutually agreed to go their separate ways. However, they remain good friends,” The divorce was finalised in August 1996 with Lisa Marie reportedly receiving 10% of royalties from sales of the HIStory album.
But despite their split, Presley was spotted travelling with her ex-husband on tour, even though he was married to Debbie Rowe, Lisa Marie remained present in his life. The couple were spotted looking intimate in London in 1997.
After Michael’s passing in 2009, Lisa Marie shared her thoughts on her website as she reflected on the loss of the King of Pop:
“The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the L.A. County Coroners office for his Autopsy. All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted,”
“After the divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done differently, in regret, “Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation. At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.”
She also revealed a poignant part of their final conversation when she shared, “He asked if I still loved him and I told him I was indifferent. And he didn’t like that word and he cried.”
In a reflective interview with a tv host in 2010, Lisa Marie shared the inner moments of their marriage together and expressed the love her and Michael had for each other.
Looking from the outside, the union was the joining of to of the biggest musical dynasty’s the modern age has ever seen and brought together the names Presley and Jackson to add a new strand to history. It’s seen as a ‘royal’ union in the honorific sense because both Michael and Elvis are considered Kings of their field and musical genres.
As Michael Jackson’s first wife, Lisa Marie gave him a love that he had been searching for as we learned through interviews and his lyrics how lonely he felt and how much he’d love to develop a traditional family. Though they may not have always agreed on every topic, their public appearances always saw Michael looking genuinely happy – something that seemed to be a result of his union with Lisa Marie.
Despite the differences they ended up having which they were unable to move past, it is clear that they both had immense love and respect for each other, and it is sad to know they did not reconcile properly. Michael and Lisa Marie are now reunited in the heavens.