This weekend marks an important anniversary for Freddie’s devoted fans. The Queen legend died on Sunday, November 24, 1991. He had been diagnosed with HIV in 1987 which had progressed to full-blown AIDS. The dying star had decided to stop taking medication in his final weeks but continued with the pain killers. Peter Freestone was there by his side every day and reveals how Freddie prepared himself.
In an exclusive interview, Peter told Express Online: “For the last week he never left his bed and he was never alone. We did twelve-hour shifts.
“The last time I saw him was on the Friday night (November 22). Contrary to belief he did not release the statement about his status on the Saturday. It was released at 8pm on the Friday night but the papers ran it on the Saturday morning.
“I have never seen him so relaxed because the secret was out. There was nothing to hide or worry about. So he could prepare himself.”
Peter remembers Freddie’s courage from the moment he was diagnosed: “He said, ‘Never regret anything.
“‘You’re wasting time when you can’t change it. Get on with what you want to do…’
“He didn’t get depressed. He wasn’t afraid. It was a fact he was going to die. In those days there was absolutely nothing could change that. So he got on with his music.
“He did so much in those last four years.”
Freddie died on the Sunday evening of November 24.
Dave Clark, frontman of the Dave Clark Five and a close friend, was the one at his bedside. He went downstairs and told Peter, boyfriend Jim Hutton, and ex-boyfriend and chef Joe Fanelli (who all lived at One Garden Lodge with Freddie), before calling Mary Austin.
Dave and Mary informed Freddie’s family and then the news was released to the press on the Monday morning.
One of the world’s greatest stars was gone – but never forgotten.