Millions of people worldwide were left heartbroken when frontman of legendary rock band Queen Freddie Mercury passed away from AIDS on November 24, 1991, aged just 45.
Freddie had only revealed he was battling the disease the day before in an emotional statement to fans.
His statement read: “Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”
After his death, his bandmate Brian May revealed the full extent of his torment.
Back in 2017, May confirmed Freddie has lost most of his foot as his health declined.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, he explained: “The problem was actually his foot, and tragically there was very little left of it.
“Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said, ‘Oh Brian, I’m sorry I’ve upset you by showing you that’. And I said, ‘I’m not upset, Freddie, except to realize you have to put up with all this terrible pain’.”
The woman described as the ‘love of Freddie’s life’, Mary Austin, was also aware of his diagnosis and was one of the few people who were allowed to see him in his final weeks.
After visiting Switzerland in the final month of his life, Freddie made the heartbreaking decision to stop all the medication that was treating his condition and simply managed his pain.
Peter said: “He made all his 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 had the time then to talk with friends and family and say his goodbyes.”
But Freddie had one final request to make of his PA and confidante Peter Freestone – he wanted one final tour of the home he so loved.
Peter said: “Freddie was downstairs in Garden Lodge on the 20th November, as he wanted to see some of his art works for one last time.”
Too weak to manage it on his own, he was carried downstairs by his bodyguard but managed to walk round his living room and Japanese room, leaning on Peter for support.
Peter said: “He commented on how and when he had acquired a few of the pieces [in his home]. Of course there was a quiet atmosphere in the house during those last days, but Freddie remained the Freddie we knew 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 final resting place out of respect for the man she loved so deeply.
And the Queen legend had a heartbreaking reason for this request in his last days.
In an interview with Mail Online Mary said: “He didn’t want anyone trying to dig him up as has happened with some famous people. Fans can be deeply obsessive – he wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so.”
Mary took her vow to her former partner so seriously not even his parents know where his ashes are.