Freddie Mercury insisted on the same thing every single morning when he woke
Freddie Mercury exhibition opens at Sotheby's
The private contents of Freddie Mercury’s lavish West London home are going up for auction next month at Sotheby’s on Bond Street and the public can view many of the 1,440 pieces across twelve galleries there for free until September 5.
The Queen star left Garden Lodge and its contents to his former girlfriend Mary Austin when he died in 1991.
Freddie was always intensely private about his home life. Few ever saw inside those high brick walls and pictures were rarely allowed.
Mary continued to protect his legacy and privacy, changing little of the interiors, while some pieces on offer have been packed away and not seen by anybody for the last 32 years.
One of the few people who shared Freddie’s final years alongside Mary has spoken out today about their life together.
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Peter Freestone was Freddie’s close friend and PA, and lived at Garden Lodge for many years until Mary took ownership.
The Sotheby’s exhibition has arranged the contents of the sale, including furniture and artworks, as they would have been at the mansion. It’s an unprecedented, deeply moving glimpse into the Queen legend’s home life that few ever saw, even while he was alive.
Peter spoke of his “nostalgia” at seeing everything again on Good Morning: “Every piece has got a story. I was around these pieces for 12 years.”
He also revealed how very different Freddie was away from the public eye in his domestic life.
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The auction will include Freddie’s beloved Yamaha baby grand piano (valued at £2-3million) and priceless works of art, but also features his solid silver Tiffany beard comb and personal notes made about glittering dinner party menus and what the guests were wearing.
It gives glimpses of his daily, domestic life, of the man behind the public persona.
Peter also describes a homebody far away from all the glamour and fame: “People would not believe if they were a fly on the wall watching Freddie at home. He was a human being.”
And that started with his morning routine, which never varied, however crazy the night before had been.
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Peter said: “Nine o’cock on the morning, it didn’t matter if he went to bed at two in the morning or six in the morning, at nine o’clock there had to be a cup of Earl Grey tea with milk and two sugars by the side of his bed.
“He would be down for breakfast within half an hour. It was always the same, a couple of slices of toast, some marmalade jam and more tea.
“He would go into the garden, feed the Koi carp in his pond. He loved doing that. He’d put the granules in his hand, put it in the water and they would come and eat out of his hand.”
Peter previously told the Express: “Freddie left the rock star on stage. In interviews that persona was to create drama. He never actually took himself too seriously… He would leave the house and always strike a pose for the fans because he never forgot everything he had came from them…
“Most of all, he was happiest at home in a mismatched tracksuit watching Countdown. He loved to entertain and might upgrade to a matching tracksuit and then pretend he had laid the table himself. He was always laughing.”
The auction and current exhibition give a glimpse of that home life with the formal dining table laid with his finest china and glassware, and his huge comfortable sofas, as well as a vast array of his stage and personal clothing and trainers.
FREDDIE MERCURY: A WORLD OF HIS OWN EXHIBITION IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC AT SOTHEBY’S, BOND STREET, UNTIL SEPTEMBER 5
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