The wonderful pictures capture everything that Freddie loved most. He is at home in his beloved Garden Lodge, One Logan Place. It was August, the beautifully tended garden were in full bloom. One of Freddie’s tribe of cats was by his side, Oscar perhaps? The singer was desperately ill by that time, but he has dressed himself impeccably in blue trousers and a playful floral shirt. His hair is styled. He is smiling. What a perfect way to remember a man who brought so much joy to so many people.
The reminder of these gorgeous images comes from the popular fan site freddiemercuryclub, which posts a daily treasure trove of clips and images with playful and always respectful commentaries.
The images below are accompanied by an excerpt in Jim Hutton’s own words, from his book Mercury and Me.
Hutton wrote: “That summer Freddie posed for a camera for the very last time – mine. It happened like this. I was out in the garden photographing some of the flowers in full bloom and Freddie walked towards me. I trained the lens on – he wanted to move back a bit so it wasn’t a close-up. Then he posed while I took four pictures, and he managed a smile for each.”
“He was so pale and drawn that he knew he didn’t look his best, but it didn’t matter a bit; of all the pictures I have of Freddie, those are the ones I love most.”
The pictures were taken on August 28, 1991, three months before he passed away.
By the end, he was bedridden and in tremendous pain. Friends and family kept constant vigil, including Jim Hutton and Freddie’s former girlfriend Mary Austin.
Freddie died on November 24 with close friend Dave Clarke by his bedside.
The film Bohemian Rhapsody shows how Freddi created his beautiful West Kensington home, and also how much he doted on his darling cats. The star had at least ten through his adult life and six were there with him at the end – Delilah, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo.
The images of Freddie smiling in his garden surrounded by love are a wonderful bookmark to early shots of him at home in his rather more modest garden in 1975. He may have loved the spotlight, but time at home was always equally precious to him.