Freddie Mercury final hours revealed by closest friends: THIS happened the moment he died
Freddie was just 45 years old when he passed away on Sunday evening, November 24, 1991. A small group of his closest and most trusted friends had looked after him during his final days when he could no longer leave his bed. Surprisingly, this does not include his Queen bandmates or relatives, but rather the tight-knit ‘family’ he built around himself throughout his career and who stayed with him until the very end.
Freddie’s PA and friend Peter Freestone spoke to Express Online about those last emotional days.
He was part of the small group who shared 12-hours shifts by the star’s bedside, keeping him constant company whether he wanted to chat and sometimes even still joke, or just rest quietly. They also stayed through the nights so that he never woke up alone.
The group included Freddie’s partner Jim Hutton, ex-girlfriend Mary Austin and Joe Fanelli, former lover and live-in chef.
But none of them was there the moment he died, which happened sooner than anyone had expected.
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It was another close friend, famous musician Dave Clarke, who was there.
Freddie had slipped into unconsciousness that day, no longer taking his AIDS medications and the pain killers unable to counter his body’s suffering.
Dave Clark said: “The doctors had left, and we knew it was only a matter of time. We were alone, and when he passed away, I went downstairs to tell Phoebe, his PA, and Joe.”
Phoebe was Freddie’s name for Peter.
Peter says; “I tend to feel that Freddie had decided he had had enough and it was time to go under his own terms.”
While Peter, Joe and Jim all lived with Freddie at One Garden Lodge, Mary lived nearby.
Dave added: “Mary Austin came over, and I phoned Freddie’s parents to break the news. He looked at peace.”
Mary echoed the same sentiments, saying Freddie “died with a smile on his face… (he) chose his time to die”.
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The difficult truth is that Freddie had been suffering terribly.
Mary says: “The quality of his life had changed so dramatically and he was in more pain every day. He was losing his sight. His body became weaker as he suffered mild fits.
“It was so distressing to see him deteriorating in this way.”
Yet Peter still recalls how his friend’s enormous spirit filled the room and the whole house, even at the end, while Elton John remembers Freddie’ still gossiping and teasing from his bed.
Freddie Mercury died from bronchial pneumonia, as his immune system collapsed under attack from AIDS.
Peter says Freddie’s extraordinary spirit was utterly gone from the house they had all shared for so many years: “For me, the minute Freddie passed away, it became just bricks and mortar, it lost the warm glow that Freddie imbued into it.”
The following morning the rest of the world was informed it had lost one of its biggest and brightest stars.
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