THE INSIDER’S TALE OF THEIR LIFELONG LOVE STORY: FREDDIE MERCURY AND MARY AUSTIN

The unusual and lifelong love between Mary Austin and the singer was depicted in the Oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, and Freddie Mercury declared that he would continue to love her “until my last breath. We will likely age together”. Over the years, close friends and Mary Austin herself have discussed the extraordinary relationship, which reportedly inspired Queen’s hit song “Love of My Life,” and fans are still captivated by the duo’s close relationship. Young Freddie Mercury met Mary for the first time in 1969, when he was 24 years old, five years after relocating to England and one year before forming the band Queen. Mary Austin came from a working-class family in Fulham, west London; her father was a wallpaper cutter and her mother was a maid. In 1969, at the age of 19, she landed a job at the prestigious fashion boutique Biba in Kensington. Freddie Mercury was openly homosexual, but he had one woman in his life whom he referred to as his “soulmate” with pride.

Freddie Mercury had recently graduated from Ealing Art College when he met Mary in a fashionable store; their relationship quickly blossomed. It wasn’t long before the young couple shared a small flat near Kensington Market – where Freddie had a clothes stall with Queen drummer Roger Taylor – and for a time, Mary was the primary breadwinner as Freddie struggled to launch his singing career. In the 2020 Channel 5 documentary Freddie Mercury: A Christmas Story, Freddie’s closest friends discussed the early days of his relationship with Mary. Peter Freestone, Mercury’s assistant for thirteen years, stated, “She (Mary) was of the utmost importance. Don’t forget that she cared for him in his early years when he was unemployed and Mary was working. Therefore, she paid the rent and all other expenses when they lived together beginning in 1969.

According to another friend, Yasmine Pettigrew, Freddie and Mary were inseparable from the moment they met. She stated, “They were very much a pair.” “He also watched over her. When he was with Mary, he always wanted to know that she was okay. “She remained loyal to him, as did he to her. “You would risk your life if you attempted to come between them, that is certain. Everyone was aware of this fact. They shared the same bond as those who remain together forever.” Mary and Freddie had been together for four years prior to the singer’s proposal. Mary later stated regarding the proposal, “I was speechless. I recall thinking, “I do not comprehend what is happening.” It was not at all what I had anticipated.”

However, Freddie was unable to ignore his increasing attraction to men and began having affairs behind Mary’s back. In 1976, Freddie revealed to his fiancée that he believed he was bisexual. Later, Mary remarked, “I will never forget that moment. I recall telling him, “No, Freddie, I do not believe you are bisexual.” I believe you to be gay.”  This heartbreaking realization ended the couple’s relationship. Mary moved into a nearby apartment, and Freddie began throwing wild parties with his new gay friends from the London scene. However, Mary maintained a close relationship with the celebrity and began working for his management company.  Queen became one of the most famous bands in the world as the years passed, and despite Freddie Mercury falling in love with Jim Hutton, Mary remained a constant in his life.

From accompanying the band on tour to Hungary to being by Freddie’s side when he died of AIDS in 1991, Mary was never far from the star’s side, and she was one of the few people he entrusted with his affairs even after his death. In his will, Freddie gave Mary his home as well as a staggering fifty percent of his future earnings with Queen. Peter Freestone, an additional constant in Freddie’s life, recalls their close relationship and the secret to their enduring love. Peter stated in an exclusive interview with Express Online, “Freddie romanticized his affection for Mary to a greater extent.” But Freddie taught me that love is qualitative, not quantitative. “You do not expend all your love at once and then lose it. Freddie loved Mary, but he also cherished Jim. He valued his friendships.

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“Mary was present during his transition to homosexuality, and she supported him. In 1975, when he broke off their engagement and revealed the truth about himself, Freddie Mercury felt immense guilt for what he had caused her. Freddie maintained a close relationship with Mary throughout his life, entrusted her with his finances, and even asked her to hide his ashes after his passing. “I believe it is significant that he gave Mary the house and half of his future earnings from Queen in the end. That was his true feeling for her.” Mary told OK! Magazine in an interview nine years after Freddie’s death that the months following his passing were “the loneliest and most difficult of my life.” “I lost someone I believed to be my eternal love,” she said. “When he died I felt we’d had a marriage. We had honored our vows. We had done it in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer.

Even after Freddie’s death, it would have been impossible to let go of him. Mary also described Freddie’s last days and how he “chose the time to die.” In 2002, Mary Austin was photographed with Queen’s Brian May. In 2002, Mary Austin was photographed with Queen’s Brian May. Photograph: Getty. Mary, recalling these “distressing” final days, stated, “His life had deteriorated so drastically, and he was in increasing pain every day.” She continued, “He was experiencing vision loss. His body weakened as he experienced mild convulsions. One day, he decided he’d had enough and stopped taking all the dietary supplements that kept him going.  Mary disclosed that Freddie Mercury passed away “with a smile on his face” on November 24, 1991, with friend Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five at his bedside.

It was an unbreakable connection. According to Freddie’s request, Mary has kept the location of his ashes a secret. Freddie bequeathed his beloved Kensington home Garden Lodge to Mary.  Freddie once said of Mary, “Only two people have returned as much love to me as I have given them: Mary, with whom I had a long affair, and our cat Jerry. “My relationship with Mary appears to strengthen over time… I will love her until my final breath.”

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