They were all heartbroken when he died of AIDS on November 24, 1991, just 45 years old.
Freddie had only revealed that he was battling the disease the night before in an emotional statement to the fans.
The singer had always appreciated that his private life was determined to protect him until the very end, but following information on his clearly failing state of health, he took the courageous decision to let his supporters know the truth .
His statement reads: “Following huge speculation in the press in the past two weeks, I want to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS.
“I thought it was okay to keep this information private to this day to protect the privacy of those around me.
“However, the time has come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope everyone will join me, my doctors and everyone around the world in the fight against this terrible disease. “
Only those in Freddie’s inner circle knew the truth. His comrades in the Queen group had been warned and were there to support their leader and friend.
After his death, his partner Brian May revealed the full extent of his torment.
In 2017, May confirmed that Freddie had lost most of his foot due to his poor health.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, he said, “The problem was actually its foot, and tragically there were very few left.
“Once he showed it to us at dinner. And he said, “Oh Brian, I’m sorry I made you upset by showing it to you.”
“And I said, ‘I’m not upset, Freddie, except to realize that you have to endure all this terrible pain.’ “
The woman described as “the love of Freddie’s life,” Mary Austin, was also aware of her diagnosis and was one of the few people allowed to see him in his final weeks.
A close friend, Elton John, was also made aware of the devastating diagnosis and described the agony of watching his friend deteriorate before his eyes as cruel disease ravaged his body.
Despite keeping his illness a secret, Freddie still wanted to spend time with his friend during his final days.
But Elton could only spend a limited amount of time at the bedside of the Queen’s frontman because he found what was happening to him so upsetting.
In his memoirs, Elton wrote: “He was too fragile to get out of bed, he was losing his sight, his body was covered with Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions, and yet he was still definitely Freddie, chattering, completely outrageous.
“I couldn’t know if he didn’t realize how close he was to death or if he knew perfectly well but was determined not to let whatever happened keep him from being himself. “
And another person who was always by Freddie’s side was his trusted personal assistant Peter Freestone, whom Freddie nicknamed Phoebe.
Peter was working in the wardrobe department of the Royal Ballet when he first met Freddie in 1979 and the couple developed a solid friendship.
A year later, Peter quit his job and started working for the singer of Bohemian Rhapsody.
He said, “I was Freddie’s chef and bottle washer, the waiter, the butler, the secretary, the cleaner and the agonizing aunt. I traveled the world with him, I was with him during the ups and I crossed the lows. “
In addition to acting as the superstar’s PA, Peter also worked as his bodyguard and in his final months, his nurse.
The bond was so close that Peter lived with Freddie in his beautiful Garden Lodge home in Kensington.
And while he remembers the noisy parties, Peter insists that the house was often a peaceful and comfortable place.
Freddie is said to tell Peter about his fears about AIDS, and his friend believes that Radio Gaga legend suspected he was sick as early as 1987 – but refused to see a doctor.
It was his beloved Mary who finally persuaded Freddie to visit his doctor when he developed a mark on his hand.
After visiting Switzerland in the last month of his life, Freddie made the heartbreaking decision to stop all the drugs that treated his condition and just managed his pain.
Peter said, “He made all the arrangements. I think he just felt and knew it was his time.
“Freddie decided to stop his medication on his own terms. He knew the consequences of his actions and then had time to speak with his friends and family and say goodbye to him. “
But Freddie had one last request to make to his sound and confidant – he wanted one last visit to the house he loved so much.
Peter said, “Freddie was down at Garden Lodge on November 20 because he wanted to see some of his art for the last time. “
Too weak to handle it on his own, he was carried down by his bodyguard but managed to bypass his living room and Japanese bedroom, leaning on Peter to support him.
Peter said, “He commented on how and when he acquired some of the pieces [in his home].
“Of course, there has been a calm atmosphere in the house for the past few days, but Freddie has remained the Freddie we have known until the end. “
Only Freddie’s close family and friends were invited to his funeral and his ashes were buried in secret by Mary.
For more than 20 years, Mary has never revealed Freddie Mercury’s last resting place out of respect for the man she loved so deeply.
And the Queen’s legend had a heartbreaking reason for her claim in her final days.
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AIDS was still very much feared in 1991 and Mary thinks he feared that his last resting place would be targeted by vandals.
In an interview with Mail Online, Mary said, “He didn’t want anyone trying to dig it up like it happened with famous people.
“Fans can be deeply obsessive – he wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so.” “
Mary has taken her vow to her former partner so seriously that even her parents don’t know where her ashes are.