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The true story of the woman Freddie Mercury almost married and the man he privately loved.

Freddie Mercury had two great loves over his lifetime.

The woman he almost married and the man he privately loved.

In 1969, when he was 24 years old, Mercury met a 19-year-old shop assistant named Mary Austin. He wasn’t yet famous, but Austin said she was attracted to the “wild-looking artistic musician”.

“He was like no one I had met before,” she told the Daily Mail in 2013. “He was very confident—something I have never been. We grew together.”

Four years later, in 1973, Mercury proposed on Christmas Day. The Queen frontman would later write Love Of My Life about Austin.

However, the couple never married. When Mercury came out as bisexual to Austin, she ended their engagement.

Despite no longer being romantically involved, the pair remained best friends for the rest of Mercury’s life.

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Mercury bought Austin a home and often spoke about how she would always be the great love of his life.

“All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary, but it’s simply impossible,” Mercury said in a 1985 interview with the New York Post.

“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 later married and had two kids. However, she never forget about Mercury. When he was diagnosed with AIDS, she tended to him until his eventual death in 1991.

In his will, Mercury left his London mansion, Garden Lodge, to Austin. He also asked his ex-fiance to scatter his ashes in an undisclosed location.

“Nobody will ever know where he is buried because that was his wish,” Austin once said. “He wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so.”

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Mercury met his other great love, Jim Hutton, at Heaven, a gay bar in London in the 1980s.

The Queen frontman offered to buy Hutton a drink, but not recognising him, Hutton turned him down. A year later, they met once again in a bar, and Hutton accepted Mercury’s offer of a drink.

A year later Hutton moved into Garden Lodge. The couple remained together for seven years until Mercury’s death, despite the musician never coming out publicly.

When Mercury found out he had AIDS, he told Hutton he would understand if he wanted to leave him, but Hutton simply replied: “I love you, Freddie, I’m not going anywhere”.

He stayed by Mercury’s side until the end. Hutton remembers their last conversation just a few days before the singer passed away in 1991.

“It was 6am. He wanted to look at his paintings. ‘How am I going to get downstairs?’ he asked. ‘I’ll carry you,’ I said. But he made his own way, holding on to the banister. I kept in front to make sure he didn’t fall. I brought a chair to the door, sat him in it, and flicked on the spotlights, which lit each picture. He said, ‘Oh they’re wonderful’,” Hutton described the moment in his memoir Mercury and Me.

After Mercury died, Austin took over Garden Lodge and allegedly kicked Hutton out.

Hutton died on New Year’s Day, 2010, after a long battle with cancer. He was 60 years old.

Mary Austin is 67 years old; she still maintains Garden Lodge.

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