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Freddie ‘s 41st birthday fell just five months after the star discovered he had AIDS - the virus which had killed so many of his lovers. His immediate reaction was to throw the party to end all parties. The venue was Pikes Hotel on Ibiza. It was the most incredible example of excess the Mediterranean island had ever seen. It took three days merely to inflate the countless gold and black helium balloons. The hotel made a special 6ft long cake decorated with the musical notes of Mercury’s hit Barcelona. Waiters opened 350 bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne in less than an hour for the 700 guests. There were flamenco dancers…and fantasy dancers. Ever-flamboyant, Freddie played the perfect host. No-one had the slightest idea that the killer disease was already taking hold of his body. In the cold light of morning, hotel boss Tony Pike meticulously drew up the bill - the largest he had ever presented. It was to give him an astonishing insight into how the Queen money machine could pay out massive amounts - yet still subject tiny details to the biggest scrutiny. “I gave the party bill to Queen’s manager Jim Beach who went through it very carefully,” said Pike. “There were items like 232 broken glasses - and suddenly he pointed to one entry of four vodka-and-tonics, and said, ‘Take it off. We didn’t have any vodkas’. “I said that if it was on the bill then someone must have ordered the drinks. But Beach repeated, ‘No-one ordered vodkas’. “I was about to stand my ground when a quiet voice cut in and asked, ‘Is there a problem here?’ “It was Freddie. I explained the situation and he replied: ‘Yes, it’s correct. I bought those myself for the bar staff’.”

He was such a kind and gentle soul, oh how much i loved and still love him today. (top photos of his 44th birthday.)

Halo of the Blessed Mother. Three sections of canvas panel reconfigured. Layered acrylic paint; 409 technique; gold enamel pen work. Enlarge for details. In memory of Angela Fanelli Germana.