Elvis Presley's princess is one for the money: For her 25th birthday the King's daughter gets a dollars 200m present. Phil Reeves reports

WHEN LISA Presley gazes into her bedroom mirror tomorrow morning at those hauntingly similar features, the heavy-lidded eyes and cherubic pout, she will surely spend an extra few moments reflecting on her father's memory.

It will be her birthday, an occasion the King of rock 'n' roll would certainly have marked with an outrageous gesture - perhaps a jet, or a mansion, or a yacht. Instead, she will get a still larger gift. She formally inherits the colossal fortune generated by his estate. More than 15 years after his premature death, Elvis's only legitimate offspring - the spoilt little girl whom he jetted hundreds of miles just to play in the snow with - finds herself having an estimated paper worth of at least dollars 200m (pounds 135m).

Tomorrow, Lisa Presley (she has told friends to stop using her full name, Lisa Marie) will be 25, the age at which the courts decreed that she becomes the sole heir to her father's riches. But she has agreed to wait another five years before taking over control of the management of Graceland, Elvis's cash-generating Memphis mansion which is a Mecca for millions of fans.

Although her father is show business's greatest posthumous celebrity, it is her actress mother, Priscilla, whom she has to thank. Not long after Elvis died, his estate was valued at only dollars 5m, despite a hugely successful recording career in which he sold more than dollars 500m worth of records, and made many millions from concerts, 33 films, and countless appearances. In his 42 years, he earned more than dollars 1bn.

The drug-addicted superstar, who had a habit of handing out limousines to his cronies as if they were sweets, squandered a fortune. Another gold mine was lost when his business manager, Colonel Tom Parker, sold the master tapes of hundreds of Elvis songs to RCA for a mere dollars 5.4m.

The situation worsened again, four years after his death, when the US government hit the estate with a dollars 10m inheritance tax bill in 1981. Desperate to salvage matters, Priscilla Presley agreed - very reluctantly - to open Graceland to the public. Ever since, the place has been besieged by Elvis devotees, who go there to pay homage at his grave and buy armloads of memorabilia. As a result, the estate brings in more than dollars 20m a year, a record sum for a dead entertainer.

Elvis would surely have approved of his daughter's good fortune, as he was a loving parent, whose devotion increased after he separated from her mother when she was four. The stories of his generosity are legion. He had a private jet, named after Lisa, in which he flew her to his appearances in Las Vegas. When she casually complained that she had never seen snow, he dropped everything, clambered into the jet and flew her to Utah, merely to allow her to see a few flakes falling for 20 minutes.

When she was eight years old, her mother forced her to return one of Elvis's more elaborate gifts - a mink coat and a diamond ring. It wasn't long before she began to show the ill effects of her father'sextravagant affections. There are accounts of her driving around in an electric golf cart, screaming at Graceland staff: 'I'll tell my Daddy to fire you]'

It is uncertain how the restrained adult Lisa Presley will handle her inheritance, which was not easily won. There were years of court battles, which included rebuffing a claimant purporting to be Elvis's illegitimate child. Ms Presley seems to have calmed down after a turbulent adolescence, marked by clashes arising from her mother's anxiety to protect her from a highly predatory outside world. There were bodyguards, expensive private schools, big homes behind electronically operated gates, skirmishes with drugs. Fictitious stories circulated in Hollywood alleging relationships with Eddie Murphy and Jerry Lee Lewis.

These days she lives in a large five-bedroomed home in Tarzana, a discreet and not especially chic suburb of Los Angeles, with her husband, Danny Keough, 28, a bass guitarist. The couple, who have two young children, are involved with the Church of Scientology, prompting speculation that at least some of Elvis's millions will end up in its coffers.

Occasionally, Lisa Presley puts in an appearance alongside the Hollywood stars. She checked into a Washington hotel to celebrate the inauguration of President Clinton. She has flirted with an acting or writing career, but mostly she remains outside the limelight. She regularly attends executive meetings of the five- strong Graceland management team, headed by her mother, which will continue to control the estate until 1998. But she is, as she has made clear in a recent interview, just a normal girl at heart, trying to get on with her life in a world that continues to be obsessed with the man she eerily resembles. 'I personally do not feel like I am a celebrity,' she said. 'It is hard for me to accept being - well not worshipped exactly, but admired. I don't deserve to be looked up to until I have done something to earn it.'

(Photographs omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power