Kid of the King: Long Time Lost, Forever Found
(The True Life Story of Elaine Elizabeth “Liz” Presley)
by Liz Presley
Reviewed by Nigel Patterson, January 2021
Kid of the King, Independently published, USA, 2021, Softcover and Kindle editions, 271 pages, Not illustrated, ISBN-132: 978-1736506202
The Elvis world has been full of controversy, fanciful stories, and conspiracies since Elvis first burst onto the scene in the mid-1950s with his scandalous shaky hips. Since his death in 1977, the number and type of conspiracies relating to his life have been varied and never-ending. Prominent conspiracies are that Elvis faked his death, his twin brother Jesse did not die at birth, claims that numerous Elvis had other siblings (the number and names vary depending on who is promoting the story), and secret recordings he made while in the Army.
Another enduring issue has been the more than one dozen people who have come forward claiming they are Elvis’ son or daughter. Lucy de Barbin’s book, Are You Lonesome Tonight? (published in 1987), about the daughter (Desiree) she had with Elvis, was the first…… in 2021, a new book, Kid of the King by Liz Presley, makes the claim that Elaine Elizabeth (“Liz”) Presley, who was born, David, is the first-born child of Elvis and Priscilla.
I need to say that I found this review difficult to write as over the past year or so I have followed the author’s journey and come to admire her dedication to singing and acting, and particularly her impressive charitable work. However, I have never accepted that she is Elvis and Priscilla’s first born.
Liz Presley’s autobiography is a challenging one. She was born David Mower on December 11, 1959, an inter-sexed child and faced many challenges during her life. She grew up struggling with his/her sexual identity, had an adoptive(?) father (Dennis Mower) who tried to mold “David” into his image of what a boy should be, an (adoptive?) mother (Mildred Hynard) who sadly slid into alcoholism and a dependency on prescription medication, and in trying to prove her relationship to Elvis and Priscilla, she was subjected to investigations by both the British and American governments (bureaucracies).
Ms Presley has led a varied and interesting, albeit at times, troubled life, as the twists and turns in her book attest.
Leaving home with only 50 pounds in her pocket, hitch-hiking to London, being rejected for the Air Force on medical grounds, working her way up to top employee with a luxury hotel chain, marriage, the birth of a child, life as a single mother, opening a successful sign company, dreams of being a singer and hotel manager, and establishing the Elaine Elizabeth Presley Wish Foundation.... these are just some of the events in her life that are covered.
In addition, Ms Presley took singing lessons with Arnold Rosendale who had Blondie (Deborah Harry) as one of his clients. She has also released several music recordings and appeared on TV and in the upcoming film, Chaaw. One experience that is particularly topical, is that at one point she went head-to-head with Donald Trump in a business deal.
Throughout Kid of the King, there are accounts of “David’s” remerging feelings of being a woman in a man’s body and his fighting off the testosterone resulting from childhood surgery. After his decision to live as a woman, the transitioning of David to Liz is discussed, including David receiving estrogen injections in Thailand.
The author has carved out a career for herself as a singer and actress, but these are only briefly mentioned in her book.
The author’s stories are interesting, and they hold the reader’s attention.
The narrative driver that will drive sales is, of course, Ms Presley’s claim as being the first-born child of Elvis and Priscilla. For this reason, I will discuss this in detail. This is not to devalue the other things that have happened in the author’s life, but as my review will be read essentially by those buying her book because of its Elvis connection, my emphasis should be on this aspect.
The first ‘red flag’ is that the author was born in the United Kingdom on 11 December 1959, only three months after Elvis met Priscilla (Priscilla and her family arrived in Germany from Texas in August 1959 and Elvis didn’t meet her until September 1959). Given her birth date, Ms Presley would have been conceived circa late February-early March 1959 (around five months before Priscilla arrived in Germany). Accordingly, this timeline rules out Priscilla being the author’s mother, not to mention that for Priscilla to have been her mother she would only have been 13 at the time Liz was conceived. The timeline does not rule out Elvis being her father as he had been in Germany since October 1958.
Surprisingly, the book also lacks any material explanation of how Ms Presley came to live with her “adoptive” parents.
Another ‘red flag’ is the claim that she met Elvis (her “real father”) when her mother took her to see him. The paucity of details (where, when, etc) is telling. As Elvis only lived in Germany and only briefly visited France during his Army service, one assumes they must have visited him in Germany. At the time of the meeting Ms Presley was only a baby, yet, incredibly, she remembers the meeting in some detail:
When I met this man, I was just a baby, but I remember him crying, like he wanted to take me, but my mum was very protective and became nervous and said she had to go.
Growing up, the author recounts how she felt a closeness with Elvis:
As I grew up to be a teenager, the closeness with my biological father, Elvis Presley, was extremely strong. It was nothing at all like being a fan with regard to his music. It was something very deep inside of both father and offspring, a natural connection.
The key evidence Ms Presley offers to support her claim relates to DNA and facial recognition analyses. Unfortunately, the non-inclusion of the actual DNA and facial recognition reports means her claims cannot be interrogated. There is a noticeable lack of material information such as name of company, date of tests, analysis reports, etc:
My DNA was analyzed by the world’s top DNA scientists, placed in the world’s largest and most advanced DNA matching system, and stored in the University of Arizona’s medical research university.
While Ms Presley provides an overview of her DNA analysis it is too high level to be evaluated. The author states that the analysis proved that Dennis Mower was not her biological father, and that both she and Elvis share a rare B gene. The analysis also connected her with cousins on both sides of the Presley and Smith families…… but in the absence of seeing the actual reports we have to take her word for it.
Importantly, it must also be noted that the analysis relied on Elvis’ DNA information published by “DNA science historians” on the Internet, not DNA material provided by Elvis Presley Enterprises. The actual sources of DNA need to be known and proven to be legitimate as there is considerable doubt around online medical and DNA evidence relating to Elvis. The DNA related cases involving Eliza Presley and Bill Beeny both highlighted major areas of concern with their legitimacy.
In relation to facial recognition analysis, some readers will recall a similar case being made by Lisa Johansen, who claimed in her book, 'I, Lisa Marie' to be the “real” Lisa Marie Presley.
In Liz Presley’s case, the facial recognition analysis included that ‘her daughter Lauren could be Lisa Marie’s twin’.
The facial recognition was undertaken by an unnamed media company and the very general discussion of it is covered in only half a page and closes with the reason that its evidence was never reported was because:
The reporter said that if she were to do that, being that my family was so powerful, that her career would over.
Additionally, Ms Presley states that in relation to her search to find out who were her biological parents, she underwent several investigations, firstly by the British government, secondly, a very intensive investigation by the US Homeland Security and the FBI, and subsequently an investigation by a private security company:
In taking my DNA from my finger prints, they kept most of the testing secret, yet they sent me a quick message saying that I definitely was the child of Elvis Presley.
(EIN Note: DNA testing was only done in relation to Ms Presley’s genetic relationship to the Presley family. It would be unusual for a DNA analysis company to state a person was ‘definitely’ the child of another person).
In discussing the British Government investigation, the author writes:
No one has ever said I’m not who I really am.
This is a flawed argument as, for instance, the investigation could have lacked the information to make a finding, or its findings were inconclusive.
The American Government investigation allegedly involved long interrogations (why?) and again, the claims cannot be tested. There is also an unusual claim that the US Government cannot endorse ‘out of wedlock children’. The author states: ‘It is US federal law.’
It would not have been difficult to include relevant parts of the DNA analysis and/or facial recognition analysis in Kid of the King. Eliza Presley (another person claiming Presley genes) was quick to provide her DNA reports in her quest to establish her relationship to Elvis. Similarly, Lisa Johansen’s book included the full facial recognition analysis/paper behind her claim (although, as later revealed, it was written, not by an independent expert, but by a friend of her and her husband).
Ms Presley also claims that her original birth certificate (as David Mower) does not exist as it is either sealed or deleted by the American and British governments. This claim again begs the question, why?
That her immigration and (current) birth certificates list Elvis Presley as her father is not evidence that proves Ms Presley’s claim, as it could be anyone named Elvis Presley, or not Elvis. Parent names on birth certificates are not routinely checked. Similarly, governments do not routinely seal or delete birth certificates.
Ms Presley’s argument is effectively the same as the one made by Elvis Presley Jr., who says that Elvis must be his father because he is listed on Elvis’ Jr’s birth certificate.
Putting to one side the DNA and facial recognition claims, the time Ms Presley realised Elvis was her father is likely to be unconvincing to many readers. In 2013, while attending a prayer meeting Elvis appeared to her in her mind and said:
“This is the time that I have come to bring you home. This is who you are.”
Elvis also told Liz to go and sing one of his songs, and ‘then I would know’. This resulted in her realisation:
“Oh my God, I’m Elvis Presley’s daughter, the real thing!”
Liz Presley, who lives in Memphis, also states she has been welcomed to the family by her mother Priscilla and younger sister, Lisa Marie. It is reasonable to think that had she been welcomed as claimed, Priscilla and/or Lisa Marie would have made a public statement. Even just one photo of Liz with her ‘mother and sister’ would have been a welcome inclusion in Kid of the King.
Other claims that ‘beg the question’ are:
- David, aged 13, making a phone call to Graceland and talking to Elvis (EIN Note: surely the Graceland phone number was unlisted);
- Priscilla’s cousins contacting Liz and confirming Priscilla is her mother;
- Liz helping the ‘family’ to decorate Elvis’ grave at Graceland for Christmas 2016; and
- Liz attending a private screening with Priscilla on March 18, 2018.
Verdict: My assessment of Kid of the King necessarily has to be in two parts – about the book as autobiography, and about the underlying claim driving its narrative.
On the first part, it is evident the author’s life has been out of the ordinary and many of the accounts of her childhood and young adulthood hold the reader’s interest. I found the narrative in Kid of the King flowed easily and the book includes moments of poignancy. At other times, quite quaintly, the story moves between factual biographical information and florid prose you usually find in a novel:
Irene lived in a two story brick colonial house. It appeared as a cozy little house from the front view, but as the car made its way up the drive, the house seemed to grow into another house in the back.
Overall, would have liked a lot more detail. Many aspects of her life story are glossed over, for example her singing and acting career.
As for the second part - is Liz Presley the first-born child of Elvis and Priscilla? The information in Kid of the King about the author’s background and her claims is simply too general for the reader to make an informed judgment or undertake further investigation. I suspect Ms. Presley honestly believes her story, but it has serious flaws. The mind is a powerful thing. As a person born with gender Identity Disorder, one can only imagine the emotional and psychological pain, distress, and loneliness that David/Liz felt growing up. Perhaps these stresses triggered a defence mechanism involving the fantasy of Elvis and Priscilla being her parents, a world which has brought her greater emotional security?
Regardless of how readers respond to Kid of the King, one thing is certain, it speaks to the incredible impact that Elvis Presley had, and has on people, perhaps more so for those with troubled, unfulfilled, and/or lonely lives.
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Book Review by Nigel Patterson.
-Copyright EIN January 2021
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