Freddie Mercury died of bronchial pneumonia, a complication due to AIDS, at his West Kensington home, One Garden Lodge, on November 24, 1991. His friend Dave Clark, of The Dave Clark 5, was the one person with him when he passed away. Clark was one of a small group of close friends who took it in turns to sit at the Queen legend’s bedside in the last days of his life, ensuring he was never alone.
In a 2008 interview with the Daily Mail, Clark remembered the moments which followed Mercury’s last breath.
The musician recalled: “I was with him at his house right at the end. The doctors had left and we knew it was only a matter of time.”
Mercury had stopped taking his AIDS medication in the days before he died.
Opening up about how he coped with the situation after the Queen singer’s death, Clark said he had immediately gone to share the heartbreaking news with those closest with Mercury.
“We were alone, and when he passed away,” he said. “I went downstairs to tell Phoebe, his PA [Phoebe was Mercury’s pet name for his assistant Peter Freestone], and Joe [Fanelli].
“Mary Austin came over and I phoned Freddie’s parents to break the news,” he added.
After his suffering, Clark said Mercury’s death seemed peaceful, adding: “He looked at peace but it was such a waste.
“He gave so much, but he had so much more to give.”
In a statement, he said: “Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS.
“I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me,” he explained.
“However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”
Before he died, Mercury made arrangements with his ex-lover and close friend Austin to lay his remains to rest in secret.
She previously told the publication the late Queen frontman was worried his grave might be disturbed by fans, saying: “Fans can be deeply obsessive.
“He wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so,” she added, revealing how she had sneaked out of the house he left her in his will to scatter his ashes alone one morning.
“It had to be like normal day so the staff wouldn’t suspect anything — because staff gossip. They just cannot resist it,” she said.
“But nobody will ever know where he is buried because that was his wish.”