Freddie Mercury sings Love of My Life at Wembley in 1986
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Each year it still seems hard to believe (and even harder to accept) that the world lost Freddie on November 24, 1991. After valiantly battling AIDS while holding court and entertaining friends and family from his bed even in the final weeks, the star finally let go. As his condition had deteriorated, Freddie only allowed his inner circle to see him in those last days, and they were there, day and night, making sure that he was never alone. SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH MARY TALK ABOUT HOW THEY MET AND THEIR ENDURING LOVE
Mary met the Queen star when she was 19 and they dated for six years until 1976. However, she remained by his side for the next 15 years as his dearest devoted friend.
Freddie left her his West Kensington mansion and the bulk of his fortune. Although he moved on and dated men, finally ending up with Jim Hutton, Freddie and Mary’s bond was unbreakable. She was one of the very few people he trusted to care for him in his final days and the only person entrusted with his ashes.
Mary said: “During those times I did really feel such love for him. They were the moments I remembered every time I looked at his bed. I would sit every day next to the bed for six hours, whether he was awake or not. He would suddenly wake up and smile and say, ‘Oh, it’s you, old faithful.'”
Although it is easy just to dwell on the tragedy of the situation, all those who were there speak of how much love and even laughter there was.
Freddie was bed bound in those final weeks as AIDS slowly took his life but he was never left alone, with Jim sharing the care with live-in PA and friend Peter Freestone, and live-in chef and ex-boyfriend Joe Fanelli.
Mary would come in every day, along with Freddie’s close friend Dave Clarke, who was the person at his side when he died.
Mary spoke movingly of her last moments with the man who had always referred to her as his “common-law wife.
She said: “I’d rather it happened the other way round. I should have gone first – I’d rather he miss me than I miss him.
“I lost somebody who I thought was my eternal love. When he died, I felt we’d had a marriage. We’d lived our vows. We’d done it for better for worse, for richer for poorer. In sickness and in health.
“You could never have let go of Freddie unless he died. Even then it was difficult.”
And her love and devotion to the man and his memory has continued until this day, starting from the moment the contents of his will revealed Freddie’s own belief that they had been married in their own unique way.
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Mary was bequeathed One Garden Lodge, West Kensington, in his will along with a one-third share of all the Queen star’s future earnings from the band. The home is believed to remain as Freddie left it, although it took many years before Mary was finally able to go into his bedroom and face her memories.
She said: “I’d spent so long with him being unwell and there were so many memories in that room. Memories of him suffering. I just saw this very frail man lying in his bed and remembered all the little things that I used to do for him. Combing his hair, because he’d lie back and all his hair would be sticking up.”
Freddie had famously said of Mary: “I’ll love her until I draw my last breath.”
And that’s exactly what he did.
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