Freddie Mercury sings Love of My Life at Wembley in 1986
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As well as his One Garden Lodge mansion in West Kensington, which is worth over £20million today, Freddie also left Mary half of all his royalties from Queen. As well as all the considerable revenues from songwriting over teh past three decades, there will also have been a major windfall following the spectacular success of the film Bohemian Rhapsody. By comparison, Jim was left £500,000, the same as the other two men who helped look after the star.
The decision to leave the bulk of his fortune to Mary angered fans and apparently some of Freddie’s friends. There was also more controversy when Mary asked Jim, along with the star’s live-in chef and ex-boyfriend Joe Fanelli, and live-in PA Peter Freestone to move out of the home they had shared with the star.
Jim later claimed that Freddie had promised the house to him but Peter has disputed this. Mary, herself, opened up about the backlash and resentment she faced. She tried to persuade Freddie not to do it, but his answer was beautiful and absolute.
Freddie died on November 24, 1991 and was survived by his parents, Jer and Bomi Bulsara, his sister Kashmira and her family. But he had previously declared his intention to leave his fortune to Mary: “If I go first, I’m going to leave everything to her. Nobody else gets a penny, except my cats.”
It sounded like a typically flamboyant comment but Mary remained an integral part of his life from the moment they met in 1969. After they separated, she had relationships and two sons, while Freddie began to explore his sexuality and dated a succession of men before finally settling down with Jim.
Mary was also employed to manage all of Freddie’s accounts and manage his household. She also remained his constant and trusted emotional rock.
Freddie appeared to have everything. He was the ultimate showman and rarely revealed much about his inner thoughts. However, in one candid interview, he said: “I might have all the problems in the world but I have Mary and that gets me through…
“I still see her every day and I am as fond of her now as I have ever been. I’ll love her until I draw my last breath.”
“You can be loved by so many thousands of people but still be the loneliest person. And the frustration of that makes it worse because it’s hard for people to understand that you can be lonely.
“Can you imagine how terrible it is when you’ve got everything, but you’re still desperately lonely? That is awful beyond words…
“I can only name one really dear person who I can actually open up to and feel really happy with…”
Freddie added: “I’ll love her until I draw my last breath. We’ll probably grow old together.”
Tragically, he never had the chance to do so. When he knew the end was near, he told Mary of his plans to leave her his vast fortune.
Mary tried to persuade Freddie to leave the house in trust as a memorial to his life and work for fans to visit, but he was determined to make her his heir. She recalled his powerful words her: “If things had been different, you would have been my wife and this would have been yours anyway.”
In the end, Freddie left Jim Hutton, Joe and Peter £500,000 each. He left one quarter of his future earnings from Queen to his parents and another quarter to his sister. Apart from some minor bequests, everything else went to Mary.
Mary said: “Some of the fans even told me I was only the keeper of the house. That hurt. I know several of Freddie’s gay friends were surprised Freddie had left so much to me. There those who thought they should have been left the house. It was like people begrudged me having what he had left me.”
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