The singer was diagnosed with HIV in 1987 but didn't reveal it to the world until two days before his death.
Freddie Mercury, known for his unabashed individuality, flamboyant sartorial sense, and legendary 4-octave vocal range coupled with chart-breaking songs, was only 45 years old when he passed away on November 24, 1991, in the comfort of his home.
Even though the Queen frontrunner revealed his struggle with AIDS to the world on November 22, 1991, just two days before his death, his close friends knew that he had been diagnosed with the disease back in 1987. Bronchial pneumonia due to AIDS-related complications finally took the singer's life.
Among those present by his side during his battle was his long time partner Jim Hutton, who passed away from lung cancer in 2010. He revealed the last few days of the Bohemian Rhapsody singer, which is sure to break anyone's heart. In Hutton's autobiography, Mercury and Me, he revealed that right after the pair returned from Switzerland, he was aware that Mercury's condition was worsening.
Hutton said that Mercury refused to continue his medications other than the pain killers just two weeks before his death as if he knew his end was near. He had also stopped consuming solid food and stuck to just fruits or juices. On November 21, when the singer shouted "cooee" from the bedroom to get Hutton's attention who was tending the garden, he realized this might the last time he heard Mercury's voice, reported The Mirror.
"I knew that the end was very near. That night I took special care of him. He dozed and I lay next to him on top of the bed. He only had to elbow me gently and I’d be awake if he wanted anything," he wrote.
As the end of his days came closer all Mercury wanted to hear was if Hutton loved him. "When dawn broke, I was already wide awake, quietly watching television. Freddie was still asleep, cuddled inside my arm and holding on to my hand... Every so often he’d softly squeeze it. 'Do you love me?' he’d asked when he woke. More than ever he wanted to hear how much he was treasured. 'Yes, I love you,' I whispered and kissed him on the forehead," Hutton said.
As Hutton carried the extremely weak I Want to Break Free singer to the bathroom and back for the last time on the morning of November 24; he heard a "deafening crack" as he lowered the singer to the bed. "It sounded like one of Freddie’s bones breaking," Hutton wrote. "Cracking like the branch of a tree. He screamed out in pain and went into a convulsion."
Unable to talk as Mercury woke up from a deep sleep after the incident, he asked Hutton in actions, which would be his last, to help him with changing his clothes. "As I was changing Freddie into a clean T-shirt and pair of boxer shorts, I felt him try to raise his left leg to help a little. It was the last thing he did. I looked down at him, knowing he was dead," wrote Hutton.
A devastated Hutton recalled that as he kissed the love of his life, he noticed the pain from the singer's eyes had vanished. "I can remember the expression on his face – and when I go to sleep every night, it’s still there in front of me."
He continued, "He looked radiant. One minute he was a boy with a gaunt, sad little face, and the next he was a picture of ecstasy. Freddie’s whole face went back to everything it had been before. He looked finally and totally at peace. Seeing him like that made me happy in my sadness. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I knew that he was no longer in pain."
He added that the wind-up carriage clock by Mercury's bed, which was Hutton's gift to him, stopped right when he passed away. "It read 12 minutes past seven... I’ve never started it again."
Peter Freestone who lived with the singer in his Kensington home, Garden Lodge, and was one of his close friends, disclosed that Mercury finally got the privacy that he craved for all his life after his death. Smooth Radio reported him saying, "As far as I know, there is one person who knows the precise location of Freddie’s ashes, and that is how he wanted it to be."
"His funeral was kept as low key as possible for a world superstar. It was kept to some of his close friends and family and the family outnumbered the friends by four to one," he added.
Mary Austin whom the Who Wants to Live Forever singer dubbed as the "love of his life" is the only one who knows where his ashes have been buried, reported Express UK. "He suddenly announced one day after Sunday lunch: 'I know exactly where I want you to put me. But nobody is to know because I don’t want anyone to dig me up.' Those were his exact words. 'I just want to rest in peace,'" recalled Austin.
She did what Mercury asked for and revealed, "I just sneaked out of the house with the urn. It had to be like a normal day so the staff wouldn’t suspect anything... nobody will ever know where he is buried because that was his wish."