Mary had been the rock star’s lover for six years before he decided he preferred male partners. Shortly before his death, he became anxious to provide her and her two children with some security. For this reason, he decided to leave her his most prized possession – his ‘dream home’. Having agreed to be godfather to her eldest son Richard, he liked the idea of his house one day becoming the family home it now is. It is easy to see how much he thought of her. ‘Love is the hardest thing to achieve and the one thing in this business that can let you down the most’ he once said. ‘I have built up an immense bond with Mary. She has gone through just about everything’.
Not only did Freddie leave his magnificent Georgian mansion, in London’s Kensington, to Mary, but also the bulk of his multi-million pound fortune, with an income for life from his vast record sales and publishing. The house stands behind an expansive walled Japanese garden. Freddie was particularly fond of Japanese art and had encouraged his last boyfriend Jim Hutton to create the garden, which is still filled with flowering trees and multi-coloured roses. Freddie always had a flair for style and spent a fortune transforming the house into a splendid palatial home.
The late Freddie Mercury’s sumptuous music room, in his magnificent mansion in London’s Kensington, has an excellent view of the walled Japanese garden. The main focus of the room is a massive window which filters the daylight onto a giant chandelier and mirrors, giving the whole room a bright and airy feel. Mary inherited the Georgian mansion and all the furniture within, including the piano where Freddie composed many of Queen’s smash hits. Mary urged Freddie to place the house and its contents in trust, but he wanted her to have it.
Towards the end of Freddie’s life, he surrounded himself with a small close knit group of friends he could trust completely. After a run of disastrous, tempestuous relationships around the world, he would confide to pals that he felt betrayed by many of the people with whom he had entered into relationships. There was one former partner who he never lost his admiration for – Mary, pictured in the mansion’s magnificent drawing room, where she would sit and talk to her old friend when he retreated from the public eye as his condition deteriorated. The room is full of his favourite Japanese furniture and art, oil paintings and Dresden china. The singer wanted Mary to have his dream home to give her some security.
One of the most enduring images fans have of Freddie onstage is him sitting by his piano playing classic Queen hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions and Seven Seas Of Rhye. The top of his grand piano, in the music room of the house, is covered in silver framed pictures of Mary and her family. There are also many pictures of Mary with Freddie, which capture the happy days she once shared with him.
Mary in the house’s magnificent dining room, where Freddie threw many highly extravagant dinner parties for his guests. Mary, who grew up in a terraced house in Fulham, found there was much to cope with after Freddie died – the responsibility of the house and staff and suddenly coming into wealth. Mary moved into Freddie’s home when he passed away in 1991, but as she wandered through the huge galleried sitting rooms, surrounded by Freddie’s many possessions, her feelings were of confusion and loneliness. ‘It was the most difficult time of my life after Freddie died,’ she admits. ‘I knew I was having trouble coming to terms with his death and everything he had left me. It was hard’
The spacious hall is bedecked with fine art and the beautiful china Freddie was fond of collecting. Mary recalls that when Freddie had some cherished free time off from touring and recording with Queen, he liked nothing more than to tour the King’s Road antique markets near his west London home. The flamboyant singer would often search to see what unique pieces of china he could discover for his home.
The splendid music room, which along with much of the mansion features beautiful wooden floors. Mary admits that, although Freddie wanted her to have the house, it wasn’t until five years after his death that she could bring herself to sleep in his yellow master bedroom. ‘I lost somebody who I thought was my eternal love,’ she says. ‘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 – and even then it was difficult,’ she adds.
Memories of her dear friend surround Mary throughout the house, where generous Freddie loved to hold glitzy parties for his friends. Mary admits she’s kept the decor and furnishings exactly as they were when Freddie died. ‘He had impeccable taste, so why change it?’ she says.
Mary in the dramatic minstrel gallery, furnished in gold and red, where Freddie used to sometimes hide and watch with amusement the behaviour of his party guests in the large drawing room beneath.
Mary and Freddie together happily. ‘One thing that was always constant was the love’ she says. ‘We knew we could trust each other and be safe with one another. We would never hurt each other on purpose’