Elvis Presley: Hearse carrying singer arrives for funeral in 1977
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On August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley was died at his home, Graceland. The King was just 42-years-old when he was found on his bathroom floor by his fiancée, Ginger Alden. The star had been on the floor for hours before he was discovered and paramedics failed to resuscitate him when they arrived. The King’s funeral was held two days later and was filled with thousands of fans, friends and family from throughout the years.
Elvis’ father, Vernon, was stationed in the foyer of Graceland where he welcomed a reported 30,000 people in to pay their last respects to the star.
Included in the collection of grievers was Ann-Margret, the Swedish-American actress who was the most famous of all of Elvis’ lovers.
The pair first met on the set of the 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas where their special connection blossomed, sparking a love affair that lasted over a year.
Elvis’ father later explained how he shared a tender moment with Ann-Margret at the funeral.
Vernon wrote a lengthy article for Good Housekeeping in 1978 where he discussed Elvis’ life and death.
Within it, he wrote: “Because I was dazed with shock and misery, I didn’t see or recognise some of the people at the funeral.
“Ann-Margret and I hugged each other and cried together, but I didn’t even see her husband, Roger Smith, who was close by.”
The actress also spoke about this moment in her autobiography, My Story, two decades later.
What do you think? How do you think Elvis Presley really felt about Ann-Margret? Join the debate in the comments section here
Elvis Presley stars in King Creole trailer in 1958
Ann-Margret explained she noticed Elvis hadn’t sent her any flowers for her latest performance in Las Vegas – something he always did without fail – so she knew something was wrong.
She later found out about his death, leaving her devastated at the loss of her once soulmate.
The star wrote in her book that she hugged Vernon tightly. She said: “There was so much to say, to recount. But instead, we cried.”
She then revealed Elvis’ father told her how the King really felt about her after all those years apart.
Ann-Margret said: “Vernon said softly: ‘He was so proud of you.'”
The intimate funeral service began at 2pm promptly at Graceland.
Reports claimed Vernon’s sorrow could be heard through the halls of the mausoleum-like building throughout the service.
The following day, the countless floral arrangements and flowers brought to the funeral were laid outside Graceland as a mark of respect for the late King.
Vernon later announced the flowers would be given away to the tens of thousands of fans who attended the funeral.
This act was intended to be a final gift from the late King and his family for their support.
Enormous numbers of people gathered outside the building by 8:25am on the following day, August 19, 1977.
By midday, every single flower and arrangement had been taken home by sorrowful fans.
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