Freddie Mercury’s private life will be on display at Sotheby’s in the A World of His Own auction, as a close pal revealed what the Queen star was like behind closed doors. The private possessions of Freddie Mercury’s opulent West London home will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on Bond Street next month, and the public can examine many of the 1,400 pieces over twelve galleries for free until September 5. When he died in 1991, the Queen star gave Garden Lodge and its furnishings to his old girlfriend Mary Austin. Freddie was always quite discreet about his personal life. Few people ever saw within those huge stone walls, and photographs were rarely permitted. Mary maintained his legacy and seclusion by changing little about the interiors, while some of the pieces for offer have been packed away and not seen by anybody in the last 32 years. One of the few people who spent Freddie’s final years with Mary has spoken up about their relationship today. Freddie’s close friend and PA, Peter Freestone, stayed at Garden Lodge for many years before Mary assumed possession. The contents of the sale, including furniture and artworks, have been placed as they would have been at the mansion in the Sotheby’s show. It’s an unparalleled, extremely affecting look at the Queen legend’s personal life, which few witnessed even while he was alive.
On Good Morning, Peter expressed his “nostalgia” upon seeing everything again, saying, “Every piece has a story.” For 12 years, I was surrounded by these items.” He also described how different Freddie was away from the spotlight in his personal life. Freddie’s cherished Yamaha baby grand piano (worth £2-3 million) and valuable works of art will be auctioned off, as will his solid silver Tiffany beard comb and detailed notes written on sparkling dinner party menus and what the attendees were wearing. It shows the guy behind the public character in his daily, domestic life. “People would not believe if they were a fly on the wall watching Freddie at home,” Peter says of a homebody away from all the glory and fame. “He was a person.” And it all began with his daily routine, which never changed no matter how insane the night before had been. “Nine o’cock in the morning, whether he went to bed at two a.m. or six a.m., there had to be a cup of Earl Grey tea with milk and two sugars by the side of his bed,” Peter explained.
“He’d be ready for breakfast in half an hour.” It was usually the same: two slices of toast, marmalade jam, and more tea. “He’d go into the garden and feed his Koi carp in his pond.” He had a lot of fun doing it. He’d put the grains in his palm, submerge it in water, and they’d come and eat out of his hand.” “Freddie left the rock star on stage,” Peter previously told the Express. That character was to create drama in interviews. He was never one to take himself too seriously… He would always leave the house striking a pose for the fans because he never forgot that everything he had came from them… “He was happiest at home, in a mismatched tracksuit, watching Countdown.” He enjoyed entertaining and would dress up in a matching tracksuit and claim he had arranged the table himself. He was continually cracking up.” The auction and current exhibition provide a picture of his home life, with the formal dining table set with his finest china and glassware, as well as his enormous comfortable sofas and a great selection of his stage and personal attire and trainers.