Freddie Mercury final days: He trusted Mary Austin to make his biggest dream come true
Few people truly understood the bond between Freddie and Mary. They split up in 1976 yet she remained at the centre of his life. The Queen star was in a happy, committed relationship with Jim Hutton for the last years of his life, and yet he left Mary everything in his will, including his beloved Kensington mansion, Garden Lodge. Freddie believed that nobody understood him better than Mary, his trust in her was absolute and, as always, he relied on her to carry out his greatest wish. When he faced his terrible final months, it was Mary who had given him exactly what he needed.
Freddie once said: “Every person who makes a lot of money has a dream they want to carry out.”
He certainly made a lot of money and he was open about how much he also enjoyed spending it. However, he also admitted he did not need expensive gifts from people, he valued the thought behind it much more, although he said few apart from Mary ever figured that out.
So, it’s no wonder that the “love of my life” gave him his most treasured smallest gift as well as the most expensive one of all.
For Freddie, the thought was everything,not teh price tag, especially if the gift was given to him.
He talked about his delight at the “perfect” gift from Mary – a newspaper from the day he was born that he could read “on his throne”.
It was yet more proof, he said of how well she knew him:”A little gift, a gesture, a nuance…means far more than someone buying you Big Ben…It’s from someone who cares and that’s what matters.”
So it was obvious he would turn to her for the most important thing of all – to find him his “refuge.” Something he would need much sooner than he ever expected and much more desperately that anyone would have thought or wished.
Freddie once admitted: “Sometimes when I’m alone at night, I imagine when I’m 50 I’ll creep into Garden Lodge, as my refuge, and then start making it a home.
“When I’m old and grey and when everything is finished and I can’t wear the costumes and jig around on stage anymore, I’ll have something to fall back on and that’s this wonderful house.”
Few people realise it was Mary who found him the home that would become his sanctuary as he lay dying.
Freddie described how it had happened.
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He said: “I’d been living in the same little Kensington flat for ages, so I phoned Mary from America and asked her to find a place.
“I saw the house, fell in love with it and within half an hour it was mine…
“Whenever I watched Hollywood movies set in plush homes with lavish decor, I wanted that for myself and now I’ve got it… It’s full of marble floors and mahogany staircases. It even has a garden that’s three-quarters of an acre, in Kensington. Can you believe it?”
Despite her best efforts to persuade him otherwise, Freddie also determined to leave the house to Mary in his will.
He never had any doubt: “What better person to leave it to when I go?”
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