Freddie Mercury was honored in a special ceremony on Thursday in London. The Queen frontman’s home in the suburb of Feltham was decorated with a English Heritage Blue Plaque — a historic marker that ties the location with a famous person.
Blue plaques have been erected in the English capital for 150 years and currently total over 900. English Heritage, the organization that awards the plaques, only adds a dozen or so each year. The plaques have become popular tourist destinations.
The inscriptions are fairly uniform, listing the honoree’s name, date of birth and death, and occupation. Mercury’s read: Freddie Mercury (Fred Bulsara) 1946-1991 Singer and Songwriter lived here.
On hand for the unveiling was Queen guitarist Brian May and Mercury’s sister Kashmira Cooke.
“Mum and I are so proud and pleased that English Heritage is honoring our Freddie with a Blue Plaque, and that he will be amongst other famous names for ever,” Cooke said. “Secretly he would have been very proud and pleased too.”
“It is a pleasant duty to help install this little reminder on Freddie’s parents’ house in Feltham,” May added. “It was here that I first visited Freddie soon after we had met through a mutual friend. We spent most of the day appreciating and analyzing in intimate detail the way that Jimi Hendrix had put his recordings together in the studio — listening to Hendrix on vinyl played on Freddie’s Dansette record player.”
The ceremony was held just four days before what would’ve been Mercury’s 70th birthday, September 5, 1946. He died at age 45 in 1991 from AIDS-related pneumonia.
Other English heritage blue plaque honorees include James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Beatles singer John Lennon, and writers Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf. Only people who have been dead for 20 years or more who have made significant contributions to their field and lived/worked in London are eligible.
Interest in Mercury has surged lately, with a big screen biopic in the works.
To see how Mercury’s plaque was made by artisans Frank and Sue Ashworth, watch the video below.