Published On: Fri, Oct 27th, 2023

Graceland upstairs archivist on if Elvis’ bedroom will open under Riley Keough | Music | Entertainment

Graceland has been open to the public as a museum since 1982, becoming the second most visited private home in the USA after the White House.

However in the four decades since, the upstairs (which was Elvis Presley’s private area and where he died) has been off-limits to tours.

This has been at his daughter and heir Lisa Marie Presley’s request, out of respect for her father’s “sanctuary”.

Nevertheless, in the years since, she’s required that his bedroom, bathroom and other rooms be preserved like he just got up and left in 1977.

This was right down to precise details like a styrofoam cup on a shelf to the last vinyl he played on the record player.

Aside from Lisa Marie and her family, the only other people allowed up there except by special request (Elvis movie director Baz Luhrmann was allowed 15 minutes for research), are those who preserve the rooms. Among them is Angie Marchese, VP of Archives & Exhibits, who has worked at Graceland since 1989.

The archivist has spent the last month in London preparing the newly opened Direct From Graceland exhibit, which features over 400 largely unreleased artefacts from the King’s mansion. Among those on display are his record player and other items from his bedroom and bathroom, some of which – like his bedside Sacred Heart Jesus statue – have never left Graceland before.

Elvis’ granddaughter Riley Keough and her two teenage half-sisters have inherited the mansion and all its contents following the sudden death of their mother Lisa Marie in January. And the 34-year-old eldest living adult grandchild of the King’s has already made some changes now that she’s in charge.

For the first time ever, a Christmas TV special will be telecast live from inside the mansion. Given such a change and the fact that Elvis’ granddaughters never actually knew the King, is it time for the upstairs to finally be opened up and become part of the tour, or at the very least be filmed? We decided to take the question to Angie the archivist, who knew Lisa Marie as a personal friend and works alongside Riley herself.

Sadly for Elvis fans, it’s still very much not the answer many would like to hear. Speaking exclusively with at the opening of Direct from Graceland at Arches London Bridge, Angie said: “No. [Riley] knew how much it meant to Lisa and how important it is to her and even to her sisters. “So that remains private, yeah. Unfortunately, [the upstairs won’t be opened up to the public as] it still means a lot to them.”

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