Freddie Mercury lived an incredible life. From humble beginnings in Zanzibar and London's east end, he defied stereotypes and convention and became one of history's most beloved entertainers.
As the BBC airs new a documentary all about the Queen frontman titled Freddie Mercury: A Life in Ten Pictures get to know the woman who by his side throughout it all. Here is everything we know about Freddie's life-long friend Mary Austin...
Mary and Freddie dated for six years before he came out as gay
Mary first met the Queen frontman when she was 19 and working as an assistant at the fashionable London clothing store Biba. After being courted by another band member, Brian May, she eventually went on a date with Freddie and the two became inseparable.
They were a couple for six years and even shared a flat in London's Kensington Market together, before Freddie revealed to Mary that he was gay. Although Freddie's confession ended their romantic relationship, they remained close friends right up until Freddie sadly passed away at age 45 from AIDs.
Speaking about his relationship with Mary, Freddie once 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."
Mary and Freddie in 1976
Upon his death in 1991, Freddie left his entire fortune, as well as his £25million Georgian mansion in Kensington and half of his future earnings from Queen to Mary. Meanwhile, most of his friends, including his lover Jim Hutton, were given £500,000 each.
Mary initially tried to persuade Freddie to change his mind and even suggested he turn his vast London mansion into a memorial site for fans to visit, but Freddie was determined to make her his heir. He reportedly told her: "If things had been different, you would have been my wife and this would have been yours anyway."
Mary inherited all of Freddie's fortune
Mary respected his wishes and was by his side when he died. She later carried out his dying wish to scatter his ashes in a secret location known only to them. While there have been various rumours about where she took the ashes, such as Kensal Green Cemetery or the cherry tree in his garden, she has never revealed their whereabouts.
These days, Mary, 70, lives a quiet life in the London mansion Freddie left to her where Queen fans still make regular visits to pay their respects.
She has been married twice but is now divorced. She shares two grown-up sons, Jamie and Richard, with one of her exes, Piers Cameron. Speaking about losing Freddie, 30 years ago this year, she said: "I lost my family, really, when Freddie died. He was everything to me, apart from my sons. He was like no one I had met before."
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