He had it all. Fame, fortune, adoring fans, extraordinary chart success and the respect of his peers. Freddie even found peace with his sexuality and love with a man before the end, spending his final years with Jim Hutton. He also had his lifelong friend and great love, Mary Austin, by his side through it all. But there was one thing he didn’t have, and he admitted “it will never happen” before adding “maybe in a couple of years.” Except, the years ran out.
In all his many interviews, Freddie rarely ever spoke about starting a family.
A new book, Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words, has collected virtually everything he ever said and put it together so that it reads like an autobiography. In the chapter focussed on “love of my life” Mary Austin, he also talks about having a child.
Freddie says; “I’d love to have a baby. That would be nice, but it will never happen.”
But why? Freddie is typically blunt on the subject.
Freddie added: Maybe in another couple of years, or in another three years’ time, I might have a settled down feeling, but at this moment in time, no.
“For the first time in my life, I’ve become very content. I want to see how far it goes and then I can think about things like that.”
It also seems Freddie really only ever considered having a baby with Mary but he knew that could never happen.
It was clear the star adored children. Many moving pictures show Freddie playing with Mary’s sons and he was godfather to the eldest, Richard. He was also godfather to Freddie Mack, the son of his close friend and producer Reinhold Mack.
And yet, Freddie said: “I’m not built to be a family man. I’m much too restless and highly-strung for that.
“I just think my life is very volatile and somebody like Mary just couldn’t cope.”
It seems clear Freddie never regarded any other partner in quite the same way, most famously saying, “All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary, but it’s simply impossible.”
Sadly, Freddie never lived long enough to discover whether he would ever feel ready. He also never lived to see an age when being gay did not automatically prevent a man from having the same expectations from life as anyone else, when gay men are able to freely adopt or use surrogates, like his friend Elton John.