Elvis Presley was last seen alive by his brand new fiancée, Ginger Alden. The couple had not been together for long, but their romance was full of passion. After just two months of being together, Elvis asked her: “Would you like to move in?” But she refused.
Ginger remembered in her memoir: “To just move into Graceland without being married first was something I didn’t believe in or feel was appropriate to do at the time. I came from a pretty conservative background. My sisters and I had been brought up to believe that you lived with someone only after you were married. Hoping he would understand, I looked him in the eye and nervously said, ‘Elvis, it just isn’t my way.’ Fortunately, Elvis seemed okay with that. He smiled and said: ‘Fine, I respect you for that.’”
She remained at her parents’ house, which was just around the corner from Elvis’ mansion, Graceland. But she never dreamed that, just some months later, she would find the King curled up on his bathroom floor, dead.
Before long, Elvis fell head-over-heels in love with the 20-year-old model. And, on January 26, 1977, the King popped the question.
He got down on one knee at Graceland and 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?”
He then gave her “the most magnificent diamond ring” she had ever seen.
Seven months later, on August 16, 1977, Ginger found the 44-year-old Elvis in one of Graceland’s bathrooms with that giant diamond-incrusted ring on her finger.
He was found in the middle of the day, at around 1:30pm, after struggling to sleep in the morning. He went to the bathroom around 9am and never returned.
Looking back on Elvis’ lifestyle, Ginger sombrely announced that the King was doomed to die that day.
She said: “A lot of people in Elvis’ life didn’t say no to him, and Elvis was used to getting his way.”
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It was this reluctance to say no to Elvis which may have contributed to his death. The King received multiple doses of painkillers and sleeping pills on his final days from his personal doctors and physicians.
Ginger solemnly said: “I loved Elvis with all my heart and I knew deep down he was a good person. I don’t think anyone could have saved him on that particular morning.”
She often looked back fondly on being with the star, however. She remembered: “He wasn’t a candlelit dinner-for-two kind of guy. He loved to play the organ [while wearing] this great jewelled robe. To have him singing for me, that’s an image I will always have.”
Years after the King’s death, his father spoke candidly about the connection he had with Ginger.
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Vernon Presley said: “I never got to know Ginger Alden well. She’s not much of a talker, but a while back Elvis told me he’d fallen in love with her. ‘This is the love I’ve been searching for,’ he said. ‘I want more children, a son. And I want Ginger to be my children’s mother.”
However, not everyone in Elvis’ life was a fan of Ginger becoming a part of his future so quickly.
Elvis started a relationship with Ginger shortly after breaking up with his long-term girlfriend, Linda Thompson. The songwriter split from the King after wanting a life “out of the spotlight”.
Because Elvis and Linda were together for so long, Ginger was often compared to his former flame. And one of the King’s pals in the Memphis Mafia, Billy Smith, did not like Ginger.
Billy said: “Ginger wasn’t a caring, nurturing person like Linda.”
Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ ex-wife, even chimed in to compare the two. She said: “Linda Thompson became his constant companion and was good for him, I felt. He began taking trips to Aspen and Hawaii, getting out more, because of Linda’s outgoing personality.”
After the King’s death, Ginger was excluded from the Presley family and was even barred from Graceland. Elvis’ brother, Vester, said: “Ginger Alden is dead now as far as the family is concerned. We don’t even recognise her as a human being.”
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