Freddie Mercury’s love life was speculated upon during his time with Queen, and sadly even after his untimely passing as well.
Famously, Mercury’s longest relationship was with Mary Austin, who inspired his beautiful ballad “Love of My Life” from Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera.
In 1969, Austin was a 19-year-old employee at an English boutique called Biba when she met 24-year-old Mercury.
She says that she was intrigued by the “wild-looking artistic musician.”
“He was like no one I had ever met before,” she said.
“He was very confident, and I have never been confident. We grew together. I liked him – and it went on from there.”
By the mid-1970s, Mercury had begun an affair with a male American record executive.
Freddie moved out of the flat they shared, and bought Austin a place of her own close by.
They remained close friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to her as his one true friend.
In a 1985 interview, Mercury said, “All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary [Austin], but it’s simply impossible. The only friend I’ve got is Mary, and I don’t want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.”
Austin, who later married and had two children, tended to Mercury after his AIDS diagnosis.
When Freddie passed away in 1991, he entrusted much of his estate and his London mansion, Garden Lodge, to Mary rather than his partner Jim Hutton.
“If things had been different,” saying in his will, “you would have been my wife, and this would have been yours anyway.”
The most important and definitive statement of Freddie Mercury speaking about his love life is perhaps this: “I couldn’t fall in love with a man the way I could with a girl. Love is the hardest thing to achieve and the one thing in this business that can let you down the most. I have built up an immense bond with Mary. She has gone through just about everything and always been there for me.”