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22 June 2022, 16:54
The last ever known photo of Freddie Mercury taken in private just months before he died has been identified.
Taken by his longterm partner Jim Hutton on August 28, 1991, the photo shows Freddie standing in the garden of his beloved home Garden Lodge in West London.
Posing with one of his cats, the star is seen standing in front of the Georgian house, framed by leaves and smiling at the camera.
The photo, taken 28 years ago, gives an insight into Freddie's last few months at home.
Jim Hutton confirmed this was indeed one of the last images of the 'We Will Rock You' star, describing the exact moment the photo was taken in his book Mercury and Me.
"That summer Freddie posed for a camera for the very last time - mine," Jim said.
"It happened like this: I was out in the garden photographing some of the flowers in full bloom and Freddie walked towards me. I trained the lens on - he wanted to move back a bit so it wasn't a close-up.
"Then he posed while I took four pictures, and he managed a smile for each."
Despite being one of the most photographed people in the world, Jim Hutton reflected that these photos of the Queen frontman were the closest to his heart.
"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," he wrote in his memoir of the star.
Jim Hutton and Freddie Mercury, who had been in a relationship since meeting in a nightclub in 1985, were together right until the end of the star's life.
The couple lived happily in private at Freddie's West London home and both wore wedding rings as a symbol of their commitment to one another.
Keeping the relationship - and Freddie's sexuality to themselves - Jim said after Freddie's death: "We both thought our relationship, and being gay, was our business.”
On November 24, 1991 Freddie Mercury passed away at his Kensington home, Garden Lodge, age 45, from bronchial pneumonia due to AIDS-related complications.
His partner Jim Hutton died on January 1, 2010, age 60, after a long battle with lung cancer.