Freddie Mercurys move to make Princess Diana look like eccentrically dressed model
Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé perform 'Barcelona' in 1988
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The iconic singer of legendary rock band Queen will once again be under the microscope tonight as his life is explored during Channel 5’s ‘Being Freddie Mercury: Under Pressure’.
Freddie passed away in 1991 at the age of just 45 years old, following complications from AIDS, leading the world to mourn the loss of the greatest vocalist to have ever lived.
In the years that have passed Freddie’s life is routinely explored, with fans the world over keen to gain a better understanding of the flamboyant personality.
While on stage the singer – who was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 – enchanted his audiences, but away from the music he kept a much lower profile.
Tonight’s documentary will try and gain an insight from the likes of psychiatrist Dr Bob Johnson, and others who knew Freddie well, to understand the “disparity between what people think they know about the captivating singer and who he really was as they examine his life and lifestyle”.
But his celebrity friends understood exactly how much fun the Zanzibar-born frontman could be, and he counted among his acquaintances the likes of Elton John, David Bowie and Liza Minnelli.
And when fronting a band called Queen, it was also no surprise that royalty eventually would be counted among his confidantes – a bombshell book claimed.
Freddie and Princess Diana, who herself also passed away at a younger age, would reportedly get up to “mischief” together, in a series of different ways including watching The Golden Girls reruns and going to gay bars together.
Their reported relationship was detailed in ‘The Power of Positive Drinking’, written by actress Cleo Rocos, who recalled one of their more hilarious encounters together.
It involved an evening where Freddie, comic and radio DJ Kenny Everett, and Princess Diana went out during the Eighties.
Cleo told how the group started the afternoon by drinking champagne and watching Golden Girls at Kenny’s house, with everyone improvising their own “naughty” storylines for the show.
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When the afternoon turned to evening, the trio – Cleo claimed – were ready to go out and started planning how to smuggle Diana into London gay bar Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
At the time, Diana was one of the world’s most recognised faces, so was initially concerned about the paparazzi seeing her going out clubbing.
Yet, Cleo explained that Diana then went into “full mischief mode”, with Freddie convincing the Princess of Wales’ to “have some fun”.
They decided to try and disguise Diana by dressing her in male clothes, and wouldn’t go out until they were sure she would “pass for a rather eccentrically dressed gay male model”.
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In her book Cleo described Diana as “looking like a beautiful young man”.
She recalled how the group “inched through the leather throngs and thongs” to get to the bar, before Diana was able to order a white wine and beer.
Cleo added: “We were nudging each other like naughty schoolchildren. Diana and Freddie were giggling.
“Once the transaction was completed, we looked at one another, united in our triumphant quest. We did it!”
Some dispute the story’s validity, with Freddie’s PA and close friend Peter Freestone claiming the singer “never met” Princess Diana.
He even noted that when given the chance to meet the Princess of Wales at Live Aid, Freddie was nowhere to be seen.
Peter added last year: “You see Brian May and Roger Taylor in the royal box. Freddie didn’t go.
“He was more interested in being with friends backstage, talking with Elton John, hanging out with his people. His friends were always the most important to him.”
Being Freddie Mercury: Under Pressure airs tonight on Channel 5 from 9pm.
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