Freddie Mercury was a frontman like no other, writing incredible songs and using his amazing voice. However, his death was tragic and surprising to many, especially given fans were not made aware of his illness until close to his death. But how did Freddie Mercury die, and what happened to his possessions?
How did Freddie Mercury die?
Freddie Mercury, as fans discovered only a few days before his death, had HIV and AIDS, which contributed to his death.
His cause of death, as was stated on his death certificate, was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS, and he died at his home in Kensington on November 24, 1991.
The way his life was reported, according to Queen drummer Roger Taylor, was “distressing,” with both him and guitarist Brian May complaining about the facts being “wrong.”
Freddie Mercury – how did he die?
Roger said, speaking on TV-AM: “It’s been quite distressing to read some of the reports in the press. Nobody really knows. Also, he was a very private guy.
“They got all their facts wrong. They missed out the fact of what he was actually like in private.
“He was a shy, kind, gentle person. He wasn’t the persona he put over on stage.
“It makes his friends, I know the people who looked after him right to the end, they all get very angry when they see the way he is represented.”
Freddie Mercury with the band Queen
They also said he was in a “loving relationship” at the time of his death, and did not die alone, but with many people around him.
What happened to Freddie Mercury’s possessions?
Many will remember Freddie was very close to his former girlfriend Mary Austin, becoming godfather to her eldest child and buying her a home near his.
With that being known, it makes sense that, given their relationship, the majority of Freddie’s wealth was given to Mary.
Freddie Mercury on stage
However, from 1985 until his death, he had been living with his partner Jim Hutton and was reportedly wearing the wedding band given to him by Jim when he died.
In the end, Freddie gave his home, recording royalties and most of his wealth to Mary, with the remainder going to his parents and sister.
As well as that, Freddie left money to some other people in his life, including £500,000 to his chef Joe Fanelli, his personal assistant Peter Freestone and to Jim Hutton, while he left £100,000 to his driver Terry Giddings.
He also left the responsibility of burying his remains to Mary, who buried them in an undisclosed location which is believed is only known by her.
Freddie Mercury with Mary Austin
With that being said, it is only money which was bequeathed, and property, given many of his possessions were destroyed.
Speaking with Express.co.uk, Joanna Espin, Curator of The Postal Museum which has Freddie’s stamp album, said: “When Freddie Mercury passed away, a lot of his belongings were burnt in accordance with his family’s religious beliefs.
“One of the reasons we think this [album] wasn’t destroyed upon Freddie’s death was because the stamps had originally come from his father.”
Freddie’s father Bomi had built up a stamp collection in Zanzibar, which the singer then began to work on as a young boy.
Joanna added: “The way he put the album together is quite different from a classic, traditional stamp album because it was more about the colours and the patterns and the shapes.
“His perspective on things is different from an early age, so he isn’t just following the usual, ‘I’ll put that in a stamp album’.”
Evidently this was an important item to him, though sadly many of his items are now lost.
The Bulsara family are believed to have followed the Zoroastrianism religion.