Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin: How long were they together? ‘Can’t replace her’

Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin: How long were they together? ‘Can’t replace her’

03/11/2021

Freddie Mercury's Christmas traditions discussed by friends

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Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin first met when she was just 19-years-old, years before Freddie had made it big as a star in Queen. Romance quickly blossomed and the pair became an item, but their relationship ended when Freddie expressed his sexuality. However, their friendship lasted through the years until his death in 1991.

How did Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin meet?

Freddie met Mary in 1969, aged 24, when he had just finished art college.

It was while Mary was working in a West London fashion boutique Biba that she first laid eyes on Freddie, who had a clothes stall on the market in nearby Kensington with Queen drummer Roger Taylor.

She told OK! Magazine in 2000: “He was like no one I had ever met before. He was very confident, and I have never been confident. We grew together. I liked him – and it went on from there.”

After a short time, they rented a small flat near Kensington Market together.

Mark Blake, author of Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Freddie Mercury and Queen, wrote: “They got together quite quickly apparently.

“They’d known each other for a few months and then the next thing they were living together.”

The couple eventually moved to a bigger flat in Holland Road and in 1973, Mercury asked her to marry him.

She said: “When I was 23 he gave me a big box on Christmas Day. Inside was another box, then another and so it went on.

“It was like one of his playful games. Eventually, I found a lovely jade ring inside the last small box.

“I was shocked. It just so wasn’t what I was expecting. I just whispered, ‘Yes. I will.’”

How long were Freddie and Mary together?

Their whirlwind romance soon cooled, however, and six years later Mary started feeling something was wrong.

Then in December 1976, he told Mary of his sexuality, ending their romantic relationship.

Mary said: “I’ll never forget that moment. Being a bit naive, it had taken me a while to realise the truth.

“Afterward, he felt good about having finally told me he was bisexual.

“Although I do remember saying to him at the time, ‘No Freddie, I don’t think you are bisexual. I think you are gay.’”

Despite this ending their romantic relationship, it did not end their friendship.

She said in an unearthed interview: “It took a long while for me to really fall in love with this man but once there, I could never turn away from him.

“His pain became my pain, his joy became my joy.

“I was able to look inside — almost — another human being and what I saw was a treasure trove of beauty.

“And I think he also did that to a few million people outside too.

“That’s why, I think, the fans continue to feel the way they feel.

“They saw that beauty, they saw the fun, they saw all the aspects of Freddie’s personality and they too fell in love with him.”

Freddie, despite not being able to be romantic with Mary, spoke of how their relationship was irreplaceable by any man.

In an interview in 1985, he said: “All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary, but it’s simply impossible.

“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.”

After their break up Freddie moved out of their flat and into 12 Stafford Terrace, in Kensington, but he kept Mary close.

In fact, after he left their apartment, he bought her somewhere to live nearby and left her much of his wealth after his death.

Mary went on to have two children and the Queen frontman became her eldest son Richard’s godfather.

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