Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Princesses And A King

It's amazing how Elvis pops up when you least expect him to. I recently experienced another example of this leafing through a magazine at my parents published by the Swedish Aviation Historical Society (my father's an aviation buff and a member).

Among all the photos of Swedish aircraft, there was the well known shot of Elvis kneeling in front of Princess Margrethe of Denmark, Princess Astrid of Norway, and Princess Margaretha of Sweden on the set of G.I. Blues. What on earth was it doing in an aviation magazine?

Studying the accompanying article, it told the story of how the Scandinavian airline company SAS acquired a couple of DC-8 aircraft and started operations flying to New York and Los Angeles in 1960. Here's the episode mentioning Elvis:
The line to Los Angeles opened on June 3, 1960, and in connection with this SAS invited the three Scandinavian princesses Margrethe of Denmark, Astrid from Norway and Margaretha of Sweden on the maiden flight. The American press was beside itself with joy, and a meeting between the princesses and Elvis Presley during the visit was the crowning glory. Better PR for a company could not be achieved in the USA!
The caption stated that Elvis sang "Are You Lonesome Tonight" in front of the princesses, but I'm sceptical about that. Nevertheless, thanks to my father and his magazine I learned of the background to why the three Scandinavian princesses met Elvis in June, 1960.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I agree with your skepticism that Elvis sang anything in front of the princesses. His original "comeback" from the Army was just exploding at the time, and the Colonel was known to loathe any free performances that might have cost him a nickel. I think Elvis probably had that pounded into his head enough to know better, even though a sensible person can realize that if Elvis had indeed innocently offered a verse or two during this brief encounter, it wouldn't have harmed a thing.