Longtime assistant of Freddie Mercury shares heartwarming hidden stories of the late musician’s final days…

Peter “Phoebe” Freestone, a close friend and longtime personal assistant of Freddie Mercury, recalls Freddie’s final days, his terrible AIDS diagnosis, and Freddie’s resolve to pass on “on his own terms.”

Peter Freestone shared Freddie Mercury’s Kensington home, Garden Lodge, and remained at his side throughout the singer’s career’s ups and downs as well as during his fight with AIDS and his final days.

Through his dedicated channel “Ask Phoebe” on the official Freddie Mercury website, Peter, who is a close friend of the remaining members of Queen and served as an official on-set advisor for the Oscar-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody, speaks openly about his experiences living and working with Freddie.

Peter, also known as Phoebe to Freddie Mercury’s fans, first met the lead singer of Queen in 1979 while working in the Royal Ballet’s wardrobe department.

As a result of their “instant friendship,” Peter quit his job the next year and began working as Freddie Mercury’s personal assistant full-time in 1980.

“I served as Freddie’s head cook, bottle washer, waitress, butler, secretary, housekeeper, and agony aunt, among other duties. Peter recalls the twelve years he spent working for the singer before his passing: “I traveled the world with him, I was with him during the highs and came through the lows.

When necessary, I served as his bodyguard; nevertheless, in the end, I was one of his nurses.

A close friend of the singer, Peter shared Freddie’s beloved Kensington home, Garden Lodge, with his six cats and longtime lover Jim Hutton for many years before the star’s death in 1991, when the residence was handed to Peter’s ex-girlfriend Mary Austin.

He explains, “Freddie’s Garden Lodge normally had a calm vibe. It was his home, so while he hosted a number of lovely gatherings for up to 200 guests, he felt safe there and didn’t have to be careful what he said or did.

“He could dress in a mismatched tracksuit when he woke up, choose to remain silent if he so desired, or come bursting out of his bedroom. Freddie was almost constantly among individuals who could make him laugh since he loved to laugh.”

“It was the coziest, friendliest home I could have hoped for when Freddie was alive. It was exquisitely furnished and designed, and as Freddie said, it wasn’t a museum; rather, it was a home meant to be inhabited and cherished.”

Peter recalled that the mood in the home changed following the star’s passing, but the memories of Garden Lodge were very much tied to the presence of Freddie.

The warm warmth that Freddie gave it vanished the moment he went away, in his opinion, and it became merely bricks and mortar.

Peter recalls Freddie’s condition and offers fascinating insight into the star’s thoughts on AIDS before he received the diagnosis, revealing that Freddie had naturally assumed it would never happen to him.

“Freddie was plainly troubled by the HIV/AIDS virus since he was aware of its global spread and the deaths of acquaintances who had contracted the illness.

He may have been aware that he was infected, but like many of us, he pushed that concept to the back of his mind and reasoned that “it won’t happen to me.” You must keep in mind that while it is still a death sentence today, there are options to delay the execution.

Peter believes that by the start of 1987, Freddie had a solid sense that he was unwell, but he delayed getting the official word as long as he could.


Peter Freestone in the photo speaks candidly of his experiences living and working with Freddie through his dedicated channel “Ask Phoebe” on the official Freddie Mercury website.

Mary Austin, Freddie’s longtime confidante and ex-girlfriend, was the one who finally persuaded the singer to meet with the physician who gave him his diagnosis in late April 1987.

Peter remembers that Freddie had a biopsy performed on a spot on his hand. “Freddie simply didn’t want to take the phone when Freddie’s doctor attempted to contact.

“Mary had to get Freddie to talk to his doctor after the doctor eventually called and said he needed to speak to Freddie urgently.

He recalls that “Freddie probably knew what the doctor was going to say and didn’t want to hear the diagnosis.”

Freddie understood when his time was running out as his sickness progressed, according to Peter, who also affirms that the singer’s well-known public declaration on November 22 confirming his AIDS diagnosis and his death less than 24 hours later were only an incredible coincidence.

There was a plan to reveal it prior to Freddie’s passing, but he claims that was the extent of it.

“He made all of his plans… He explains, “I believe he simply sensed and understood it was his time.

“Freddie and Queen’s manager Jim Beach had been discussing this for a long, but now was the time to say what needed to be said.

“Jim had to travel to the USA, so they essentially found a time to finish it before he left. On November 22, at 20.00, the statement was made public, as Peter recalls.


It was Freddie’s ex-girlfriend and lifelong confidante, Mary Austin (pictured) who eventually made the singer to speak to the doctor that diagnosed him, in late April 1987.


Freddie Mercury had his longterm boyfriend Jim Hutton, pictured left, by his side during his final days at Garden Lodge.

At the age of 45, Freddie Mercury suddenly away from bronchial pneumonia brought on by AIDS-related complications at his Kensington residence, Garden Lodge, on November 24, 1991.

According to Peter, “Freddie would slip away so swiftly at that time there was no clue.”

We all knew it couldn’t last long, but according to Freddie’s doctor, he may stay with us for a few more days. I have a tendency to think that Freddie made the decision to leave on his own terms because he had had enough.
“I think he was content with who he was. On his own terms, Freddie chose to stop taking his medication. He had the opportunity to speak with friends and family and say his goodbyes because he was aware of the repercussions of his conduct.

On November 10, no one knew how long he had left, but he must have been aware of how his body was feeling as the days went by.

Peter remembers Freddie’s final days and the singer’s request for one last glimpse at his beloved Kensington house in the days preceding his passing.

He claims that on November 20, “Freddie was downstairs in Garden Lodge because he wanted to examine some of his artworks for one final time.”

Terry, Freddie’s security and driver, helped the man down the stairs, but he was supported by one of us as he made his way through the sitting room and Japanese room.

He made remarks on the sources and dates of some of the artworks [in his home]. Naturally, the house was silent during those final days, but Freddie continued to be the Freddie we knew until the very end.

Peter recalls that although Freddie’s character was very public throughout his life, in death the celebrity has been accorded the seclusion he frequently desired while alive.

According to Peter, only one person is aware of the exact location of Freddie’s ashes, which is exactly how he wanted it to be.

“For a global superstar, his funeral was kept as low profile as possible. Only a small group of his close friends and family were informed, outnumbering his pals four to one.

“While he was alive, Freddie never once mentioned his funeral. He stated in an interview that he didn’t much care what transpired after his passing “Peter makes a reference to the well-known film of the Queen frontman making fun of his own demise.

According to Peter, Freddie had a complex personality both on and off the stage and was a kind, compassionate guy.

He enjoyed the company of some beautiful people, but he also had a serious side. He worked hard and gave a lot of his hard-earned money to charitable organizations, the man claims.

Peter remembers, “I think he would never want to be regarded as a mere mortal.

You can do whatever you want with my legacy, but never make me dull, he said Jim Beach.

A fan asks Peter about his most priceless Freddie Mercury memory, and the star’s close buddy responds in an unexpectedly touching way:

When he was laughing at home, Peter recalls, “those were the moments that always stood out for me.”

When Freddie smiles or laughs during an interview, he always covers his teeth with his upper lip or raises his hand to hide his lips. I realize this sounds fairly typical. He always attempted to hide his teeth because he detested them, which was the cause of this.

When he was at home, when he was with friends and not self-conscious, he would simply throw his head back and laugh aloud while keeping his mouth open. During those moments, he was free to be himself without having to worry about passersby recognizing him without his rock star role as Freddie Mercury.

Peter Freestone addresses the unusual decision to divulge so many details and insights into the private life and passing of his close friend, and he explains his motivations by saying: “Quite a few people state that Freddie always guarded his privacy while he was alive, and now here I am giving away everything that Freddie never talked about.”

True, Freddie valued his privacy and kept his personal affairs to himself and a small circle of pals during his lifetime. Furthermore, he was aware of the fact that after his passing, numerous untrue things would be spoken and thought. He then stated that because he wouldn’t be present, he wouldn’t care.

Peter says, “He isn’t here personally, but the person so many people loved and admired for his music and presence is still here.” He continues, “Many unfounded rumors appear all the time, and I just feel that it is better that the truth is there for everyone, so that they can then make up their own minds…and get to know the real Freddie Mercury.”

Sir Elton John, a close friend of Freddie Mercury, spoke candidly about the Queen frontman’s valiant struggle with the illness that ultimately claimed his life in 1991. I was still in mourning for weeks after the burial, he remembers. “I discovered Freddie had left me one last monument to his selflessness on Christmas Day.

When a friend knocked to my house and brought me something wrapped in a pillowcase, I was whining about something. One of my favorite painters, British painter Henry Scott Tuke, had a painting inside when I opened it up. Additionally, there was a letter from Freddie on the front.

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