elvis presley at graceland hand against tall pillar

Graceland’s New Sole Owner, Riley Keough, Details Childhood on Elvis’s Iconic Estate

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The mania for all things Elvis Presley clearly did not die with him, as evidenced by multiple recent biopics and the enduring obsession with his final resting place, Graceland. At the time of his death, the estate and the family shares of Elvis Presley Enterprises were worth $5 million; Vanity Fair reports that today that number is closer to $500 million. The abode at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis is a pilgrimage site, drawing in over 4,000 visitors a day during the height of its tourist season, per Graceland’s accounting. Presley purchased the property in 1957 for $102,500. 

Following the January death of his only child, Lisa Marie Presley, and subsequent legal proceedings regarding the estate’s custody, Elvis’s granddaughter Riley Keough was granted sole ownership of Graceland. The rock-and-roll heir unpacked her childhood memories on the hallowed grounds in a new Vanity Fair interview for the magazine’s September cover. 

Where they stayed during visits

Keough and her family would visit Graceland over Thanksgiving, but they did not stay at the legendary mansion. According to VF, they quartered at the property’s official hotel, and after the tourists left for the day, they would descend upon the main grounds to drive golf carts and hang out. Keough also revealed, “There were a few times that we slept [at Graceland],” though she thought twice about making that detail public (“…but I don’t know if I should say that”), as the second floor of the property is off-limits. Presley suffered his fatal heart attack there. 

Elvis Presley standing on the front porch of his Graceland estate, a Colonial Revival–style mansion built in 1939.

Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

She hid on the grounds during public tours

While visitors were poring over the king’s opulent mansion, his rhinestoned costumes, and his gold records, Keough and crew stayed out of sight. “The tours would start in the morning, and we would hide upstairs until they were over,” Keough recalls. “The security would bring us breakfast. It’s actually such a great memory. We would order sausage and biscuits and hide until the tourists finished.”

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