FREDDIE MERCURY shocked the world in that blue suit at the 1990 BRIT Awards, a shadow of a superstar. It was his final public appearance but his last ever photo was actually taken at home in his Kensington garden, smiling and surrounded by everything he loved.
Before too long, grieving fans would be gathered outside the gates of Garden Lodge in West Kensington. But Freddie grabbed last moments of happiness as his health faded in the summer of 1991. He rarely left his bed at the end, but surprised his partner Jim Hutton one day. On August 28, while Jim was in the garden photographing the flowers, Freddie appeared outside in a smart outfit and with his hair done – and so his last ever pictures were taken.
Freddie always said he didn’t care how people remembered him: “It’s up to them. When I’m dead, who cares? I don’t.” But he would not have wanted to be remembered bedbound, diminished and frail.
So, it is fitting he should be remembered instead smiling in the sunshine.
Conscious of how his appearance had been affected by his illness, the brave star asked to be snapped at a small distance.
The pictures below are a precious reminder of Freddie’s spirit and is even more perfect that he has one of his beloved and faithful companions standing at his side.
Jim added: “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 the Queen icon passed away.