General Facts and Figures
- Full name: Mary Austin
- Net Worth: $80 million
- Occupation: Singer, songwriter, record producer
- Bio: Freddy Mercury’s muse and big love
- Birthday: March 6, 1951
- Birthplace: Fulham, London, England
- Birth Sign: Pisces
- Marital status: Married to Nicholas Holford from 1998 to 2002 and Piers Cameron from 1990 to 1993
- Instagram: NA
- Twitter: NA
- YouTube: NA
Following the huge success of the Oscar-winning movie Bohemian Rhapsody, everybody wants to know more about the muse and the woman behind one of the most beautiful ballads written ever – Love of My Life – by Queen.
Mary Austin was in a six year romantic relationship with Freddie Mercury at the very beginning of his career as the lead singer of rock band Queen, and prior to becoming one of the most famous and beloved voices in the world of music.
Even after the couple broke up after Freddie confessed of his multiple infidelities and the fact that he was bisexual, Freddie and Mary remained the closest of friends and confidants.
It is pretty clear that Mary Austin was the most important lady in the singer’s life because he dedicated songs to her, she was among the few to spend time around his deathbed, and also among the several people who know where the late singer’s ashes have been spread.
The flamboyant and extremely talented singer left Mary his 28 bedroom estate Garden Lodge, and half of his fortune in his will, as well as half of the proceeds from his band – Queen.
Although after the couple broke up, Austin proceeded to marry twice, her marriages were not successful. She has two sons from her first marriage but continues to name Freddie Mercury as her one and only eternal love.
Mary’s early years
Mary was born in a struggling working-class family in 1951 in Fulham in London. Her father was a wallpaper specialist and hand trimmer and her mother was a maid. Her father and mother were deaf, so the family communicated with sign language and lip-reading.
Mary dropped out of school at the age of only 15 and started working as a receptionist, and later in a fashionable clothing boutique store in London Biba, which often attracted famous celebrities as customers.
She first met Brian May at a college rock concert, and actually started dating him first before getting involved with his bandmate Freddie Mercury. But their relationship was not serious so they quickly ended it but remained friends. It was then when Freddie first noticed Mary and was instantly attracted to her. He visited her store several times and they gradually became friendly, before asking her out on a date six months later.
Mary was 19 and Freddie was 24 years old when they got together in 1969. They were struggling to make the ends meet because Freddie and Queen hadn’t made a name for themselves yet. In fact, Queen was started a year later by Freddie and his bandmates Roger May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon.
Freddie had arrived in London five years ago with his Parsi family, who are originally from Zanzibar, Tanzania. The singing legend was born in 1954 and was originally named Farrokh Bulsara. He changed his name to Freddie Mercury when he came to England and decided to be a star.
The love story
Freddie Mercury never stopped loving and caring for Mary deeply until his death in 1991, when he left her his huge home in London, and half of his estate.
Freddie once admitted that none of his male lovers could replace Mary, but that was absolutely impossible. In fact, the man with the most amazing voice in the world was quoted saying “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.”
He devoted numerous songs to Mary, one of the most famous ones being Queen’s Love of My Life from the album A Night in the Opera released in 1974.
As for Mary, she had been instantly mesmerized by the musician ever since they started running into each other in the boutique she worked in in the 1960s. According to Austin, Freddie was like no one she had met before, and that he had the confidence she then lacked, and together they grew.
The two started living together in a tiny apartment in London and later on moved to a larger house when Queen started to gain popularity and Freddie became a star.
What started as a shy romance, grew into a deep and complicated love relationship.
The singer even asked Mary to marry him on Christmas day in 1973. He surprised her with an engagement ring in a Christmas present box, and she agreed to marry him immediately.
Freddie and Mary were romantically involved and even engaged for 6 years until he came out as bisexual and revealed that he had been unfaithful to Mary and had been seeing men.
She addressed her worries that the couple had been growing apart since Freddie had become a world-famous star, and he was prompted to confess his true sexuality to her in 1976.
Although Mary was initially shocked by this confession, she was already aware that he had had affairs, but was unsure with whom. She later recalled telling him “No Freddie, I don’t think you are bisexual. I think you are gay” at that time.
Even though the two stopped being romantically involved, Mary moved out to a flat near his home which Freddie’s music publishing company had bought for her, and the two remained the closest friends possible until his dying day.
She even became the secretary and important part of the entourage of Queen, and often accompanies the band on tour and got to meet the leading celebrities and socialites of the time alongside Freddie and his bandmates.
Mary was the first person Freddie told about his AIDS infection in 1987, and she never ever mentioned this to another soul.
When Freddie had found about his disease, his primary worry was ensuring that Mary had a comfortable life and enough money. Mary, on the other hand, didn’t care about the money and was only committed to helping Freddie improve his health.
Nevertheless, when Freddie developed AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991, it was Mary who spent most of the time with him at his deathbed, and it was her that he entrusted to spread his ashes in an undisclosed spot. She inherited half of his 75 million pound estate and his 25 million pound mansion Garden Lodge in Kensington London.
Today, Mary still lives in Freddie’s home in London and has an estimated net worth of about $80 million – a fortune which is growing, along with the increasing popularity of Queen and Freddie Mercury following the huge success of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie from 2018 and the proceeds she is receiving from the royalties.
She is the only person in the world who knows where the ashes of the legendary singer from Zanzibar have been spread after his death.
Mary’s life after separating with Freddie
After they had split up, Freddie went on to date a hairdresser from County Carlow Jim Hutton for seven years after they first met in the 1980s at a London gay club.
He continued leading a lavish life in his London mansion, with wild parties, a lot of substance abuse and multiple friends. Still, he kept in constant contact with Mary throughout the years.
Austin went on to date and marry painter Piers Cameron with who she had two sons. Their marriage was short-lived and lasted from 1990 to 1993. Her two sons are named Richard and Jamie. Freddie became the godfather of Richard. Jamie was born shortly after the singer died.
Later on in life, Mary met, dated and married Nicholas Holford from 1998 to 2002, a marriage which was annulled.
When Freddie was tested positive for HIV in 1987, he initially hid his diagnosis from everybody else but Mary. She was the first person who found out about the diagnosis, and she never confided the secret to anybody else. Freddie Mercury continued performing and recording even after his diagnosis became clear and even participated in the historic Live Aid concert on July 13th 1985. Queen’s performance at the charity even is considered the moment which changed music forever.
In the days before he died on November 1991, Freddie signed a will with which he entrusted Mary Austin with half of his estate, as well as his mansion at Garden Lodge in Kensington, London, where Mary still lives to this day. She also received a percent of the publishing business, giving her proceeds from Queen’s royalties and performances until this day.
Mary Austin was by Freddie’s side as he battled the disease, and was beside him when he succumbed to AIDS-related pneumonia on November 24th 1991, when he was only 45 years old.
Unfortunately, in those years, AIDS was still considered a “dirty word” and a taboo subject and was not discussed and researched too much which made it a fatal disease, unlike today when there are medications and treatments allowing for the proper management and even curing of the disease.
After Freddie’s death, Mary Austin told a member of the British press that she had lost her eternal love and that when the singer died, she had felt like she had lost her husband. According to Austin, they had lived like husband and wife and had lived their vows to be together for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.
She also confessed that she could have never let go of Freddie and that even after his death, she found letting go very difficult.
She has remained faithful to Freddie’s last wishes, including scattering his ashes in an undisclosed location, which is a secret she has kept until this very day claiming that she has never betrayed Freddie, and has no intention of betraying him now either.
She secretly took the ashes from the home where the singer died, and which she lives in, and took them to the place he had chosen to scatter them away from obsessive fans.
What happened after Freddie’s death
Just months before dying in November 1991, Freddie Mercury signed his last will which gave half of his wealth to Mary Austin and the other to his sister and parents. His other friends, including his longtime boyfriend Jim Hutton, received either a house or 500,000 pounds each.
Hutton died of lung cancer at the age of 60 in 2010. He too was diagnosed with AIDS in 1990. In 1994, he released a memoir titled “Mercury and Me” including candid photos and stories about the long relationship between the two men.
He claimed that when Freddie confessed about his diagnosis to him in 1987, he vowed to remain by his side forever, and so he did. Along with Mary, Hutton was beside Freddie until his last days.
The two were very private about their affair, and considered each other spouses, and wore wedding bands as a symbol of commitment to one another. It was a time when same-sex marriages were still out of the question, but the couple remained together until the day Freddie died. The details about their happy relationship became clear only after Freddie’s death in 1991, with the release of Hutton’s book.
Where is Mary Austin today
Today, Mary Austin still lives in the lavish 28 bedroom mansion which Freddie gave her, and which he had lived in for years with his multiple beloved cats.
She has always claimed that Freddie had been more than family to her, and was everything to her apart from her two sons.
He had been like no one else she had ever met and remains her eternal love and soul mate.
Mary Austin lives a quiet life in London and rarely agrees to give interviews.
She was asked for consent for the making and release of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.
She is not a public figure and through the years, has shied away from public life. She rarely speaks about her relationship with Mercury. One of the notable occasions was the 2000 documentary Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story.
Recently, with the release of the blockbuster and award-winning movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary has come into the spotlight once again, as fascinated fans are eager to find out more about Freddie’s muse and the woman who turned out to be the most important figure in the singer’s life.
Bohemian Rhapsody stars Remi Malek as Freddie mercury and Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin. The movie became a huge success and won the Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing Academy Awards at the 2019 Oscars, as well as two Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, along with multiple other BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, AACTA, AARP, and various other US and international nominations and awards.
The movie developed a huge following and introduced the magical music of Queen and Freddie’s talent to several new generations. It also confirmed the strong belief of long-time Freddie and Queen fans, that they were and still remain one of the best musicians and bands in history.
As for Mary Austin, she will remain the woman who helped shape the incredible vocal performer, Freddie Mercury’s true soul mate, and is the sole keeper of the secret of the final resting place of Freddie Mercury, a vow which she has declared she will keep forever.