Freddie Mercury's sister Kashmira shares heartbreaking story from Queen star's final days

8 December 2022, 11:23

70-year-old Kashmira revealed what Freddie talked about in his final days, how he felt about watching old videos of himself performing and her father's reaction to his son's untimely death.
70-year-old Kashmira revealed what Freddie talked about in his final days, how he felt about watching old videos of himself performing and her father's reaction to his son's untimely death. Picture: Getty/BBC

By Giorgina Hamilton

The Queen frontman's sister opened up about the last days before his death on November 24, 1991.

Freddie Mercury's only sibling, Kashmira Cooke, has given a moving insight into the star's mindset before death.

70-year-old Kashmira revealed what Freddie talked about in his final days, how he felt about watching old videos of himself performing and her father's reaction to his son's untimely death.

Speaking to on the documentary Freddie Mercury: The Final Act, Kashmira told of how 'hurtful' it was to see Freddie wistfully ponder how he looked before being diagnosed with HIV.

Speaking to on the documentary Freddie Mercury: The Final Act, Kashmira told of how 'hurtful' it was to see Freddie wistfully ponder how he looked before being diagnosed with HIV.
Speaking to on the documentary Freddie Mercury: The Final Act, Kashmira told of how 'hurtful' it was to see Freddie wistfully ponder how he looked before being diagnosed with HIV. Picture: Getty
"When Freddie would see his own videos, he would say: &squot;Oh I was handsome then.&squot;" she said, adding: "That was very, very hurtful....that he knew what he was going through." Mercury pictured on stage at Live Aid in 1985
"When Freddie would see his own videos, he would say: 'Oh I was handsome then.'" she said, adding: "That was very, very hurtful....that he knew what he was going through." Mercury pictured on stage at Live Aid in 1985. Picture: Getty
Freddie Mercury's only sibling, Kashmira Cooke, has given a moving insight into the star's mindset before death.
Freddie Mercury's only sibling, Kashmira Cooke, has given a moving insight into the star's mindset before death. Picture: BBC

"When Freddie would see his own videos, he would say: 'Oh I was handsome then.'" she said, adding: "That was very, very hurtful....that he knew what he was going through.

"Because I thought my brother was handsome, still do!" she said, laughing dolefully, adding: "I really thought it was so sad."

Kashmira talked about visiting her brother Freddie at his home Garden Lodge in Kensington, in the days leading up to his death.

The Queen star famously stayed holed up in his mansion with those closest to him; his boyfriend Jim Hutton, best friend and ex-fiance Mary Austin and PA Peter Freestone, by his side.

"My mum visited more times than dad, I don't think dad could take it because he looked like a skeleton towards the end."

The star's sister also recalled the moving moment she saw her dad reading newspaper articles chronicling Freddie's death.

"And I remember very clearly my dad was reading one of the many articles, and tears were pouring down his face onto the newspaper, and he said: 'This should have been me, instead of Freddie.'"

"I remember that so clearly, it was so sad," she added.

Freddie Mercury famously gave a statement just 24-hours before his death in which he revealed to the world that he was HIV positive.

During a time when there was no cure for AIDS and the lifestyle of homosexuals was frowned upon in many circles, Freddie's proud statement amid the terrifying AIDS epidemic, was groundbreaking.

"And I remember very clearly my dad was reading one of the many articles, and tears were pouring down his face onto the newspaper, and he said: &squot;This should have been me, instead of Freddie.&squot;"
"And I remember very clearly my dad was reading one of the many articles, and tears were pouring down his face onto the newspaper, and he said: 'This should have been me, instead of Freddie.'". Picture: Getty

"Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS," he said in his statement, released by his publicist Roxy Meades.

"I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me.

"However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease."

Freddie Mercury died just 24-hours later at his beloved home Garden Lodge in Kensington. He was 45 years old.

Since his death, many famous and non-famous friends of the star talked about beautiful memories of Freddie, but a story from Elton John stands out in particular.

John recalled how he would go and see Freddie on his deathbed, saying how painful and traumatising it was to see him towards the end.

Kashmira Cooke pictured with Queen and the cast of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at the film's world premier in 2018.
Kashmira Cooke pictured with Queen and the cast of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at the film's world premier in 2018. Picture: Getty

"He was still spending money and buying things at auction, even up until the point that he died" Elton said with a smile on his face, "which I thought was hilarious!"

"But that Christmas, the Christmas shortly after he died, I got a present delivered to me" Sir Elton continues.

"It was a painting from Henry Scott Tuke from Freddie saying 'Dear Sharon, hope you love this, love Melina'".

"I just completely broke down. To think of me as he was so ill."

"He wanted to give that to me for Christmas, and he died about a month beforehand. It was quite a choker."

Elton John ends his memory of Freddie by stating: "That's the kind of person he was."