Earlier this month, on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died. The monarch reigned over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for 70 years.
During her reign, The Queen met countless pop and rock stars from throughout the ages. She even awarded The Beatles MBE medals. However, she never met the King of Rock and Roll himself: Elvis Presley. But she once came very close.
On September 25, 1962, Elvis was invited by The Crown to attend the 1962 Royal Variety Performance.
It was a momentous year to be involved, as Elvis would have joined the likes of Bob Hope, Cliff Richard and the Shadows and Eartha Kitt & Cleo Laine on the London Palladium stage.
The Queen herself likely didn’t request any of the line-up for the Royal Variety Performance, but the call from her people certainly went straight to his boss, Colonel Tom Parker.
Unfortunately, this was likely the worst thing that could have happened to Elvis.
Parker was infamous for not letting Elvis leave the country (except on occasion to Canada).
He made sure that he was involved in every part of the King’s touring lifestyle. And this meant that he joined him on the road.
But, because Parker was an illegal immigrant from the Netherlands, he was afraid of leaving the USA.
Without a passport, he feared being rejected for reentry into the United States.
So, with that in mind, when The Queen’s invitation came through, he had no choice but to turn down the prestigious request.
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Steele kept the visit secret for decades, but in 2008 opened up about what really happened.
Elvis reportedly touched down in London for just a few hours. During that time he found Steele and hung out with him.
Steele recalled of their meeting: “It was an event shared by two young men sharing the same love of their music and the same thrill of achieving something unimaginable.”
He added: “I swore never to divulge what took place and I regret that it has found some way of ‘getting into the light’. I can only hope he can forgive me.”
Elvis even had a pointed question to ask Steele.
Elvis quizzed the star: “Are you as good as me?”
Steele apparently told Bill Kenright, a theatre producer he worked with over the years, exactly what happened.
He said: “I remember [Tommy] telling me about when Elvis came to England very quietly. Evidently, Tommy got home one night and the phone rings. A voice says: ‘They tell me you’re good.’ Tommy says: ‘Who’s this?’ ‘Elvis’ says the voice. ‘Get outta here!’ says Tommy.”
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