Elvis and the Learjet – As told to Stan Stokes by Clay Lacy Part One
On May 1, 1967, Elvis Presley and Pricilla Beaulieu were married in Las Vegas at the Aladdin Hotel.
They had started the trip just after midnight at Elvis’s Palm Springs home. In an effort to evade the press and the fans, the small Presley wedding party had climbed over the backyard wall and into awaiting cars that whisked them to the Palm Springs Airport to fly to Las Vegas for the wedding nuptials.
Frank Sinatra and Elvis had become close friends, so Sinatra had offered the use of his Learjet to transport the couple from Palm Springs to Las Vegas and then return back to the “Springs” for their honeymoon.
Sinatra’s Learjet was a first-generation Learjet 23 (N175FS). It had been named Christina II after Sinatra’s youngest daughter. It was based at Clay Lacy Aviation at Van Nuys Airport, but that morning, it was conveniently with Sinatra in Palm Springs and ready to fly to Vegas.
Because the Learjet 23 could only carry six passengers, a second chartered aircraft took the rest of the wedding party to Las Vegas. Elvis had also flown Priscilla’s parents in for the wedding. The entire wedding party totaled just 14 people plus Elvis and Priscilla.
So in 1967, the most stylish transportation to and from a wedding had just become the Learjet!