Mary Austin, Freddie Mercury’s Wife

Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin

Getty Mary Austin

Mary Austin is the muse behind Queen’s song, “Love of My Life”, and is often referred to as the woman who stole Freddie Mercury’s heart.

The two were young when they first met- Mary was just 19, and Freddie was 24. Biography.com quotes Mercury as once saying of Austin, “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.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2013 about the first time she met him when he walked into a boutique where she worked in the late ’60s, Austin said, “He was like no one I had met before… He was very confident, something I have never been. We grew together.”

Their romance, though complicated, brought them extremely close. Within four years, they became engaged. Elle quotes Austin as saying about the engagement, “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,” Austin said. “I looked at it and was speechless. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t understand what’s going on.’ It wasn’t what I’d expected at all. So I asked him, ‘Which hand should I put this on?’ And he said, ‘Ring finger, left hand.’ And then he said, ‘Because, will you marry me?’ I was shocked. It just so wasn’t what I was expecting. I just whispered, ‘Yes. I will.’”

Although they never legally married, Mercury and Austin remained good friends when the musician came out as gay and told Austin he was dating a man. In fact, according to Vanity Fair, the wedding was called off just days after Mercury came out to Austin as bisexual. After the discussion, Mary moved to a nearby flat and remained an integral part of the band’s inner circle. Biographer Mark Blake, the author of, “Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Freddie Mercury and Queen”, tells Biography.com, “She went on the road with them. There are photographs of them together backstage at concerts into the late seventies by which stage they were no longer a couple.”

While she continued to support Freddie and remained by his side, Mary went on to have two children with painter Piers Cameron. She also married a businessman name Nick Holford, but their relationship ended in divorce after five years. Today, multiple outlets report that Austin lives a quiet life “away from the spotlight”. She inherited Mercury’s Edwardian mansion in West London after his death, as well as a bulk of his over $10-million fortune. She also fulfilled his wishes for her to scatter his cremated remains in a location that has never been disclosed. Vanity Fair reports Mary as saying, “Nobody will ever know where he is buried because that was his wish… He wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so.”

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