Some of pop’s biggest stars are appearing at King Charles’ Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, but many others turned down the chance to sing for His Majesty.
Just over 40 years ago, Queen legends Brian May and Roger Taylor were photographed hanging out in the royal box at Live Aid.
Freddie Mercury could be famously fickle and fabulously capricious, but his long-term PA and friend shared with Express Online why he declined the royal invitation.
The truth, and his hilarious other antics that day, only make us love him more.
U2 frontman Bono was backstage at Wembley Stadium with his wife Ali Stewart, who he had married in 1982, when the outrageous encounter occurred.
Bono recalled: “I was walking with Ali and Freddie Mercury pulled me aside and said: ‘Oh, Bo-No….is it Bo-No or Bon-O?’ I told him, ‘It’s Bon-O’. He said, ‘Come over here with me. We’ve all been talking, Roger [Daltrey] and Pete [Townshend] and David [Bowie], and we all agree there’s no singers any more, everyone is shouting these days, but you’re a singer.’
“I was up against a wall and he put his hand on the wall and was talking to me like he was chatting up a chick. He had me laughing but I was shifting nervously at the time, with Ali and myself exchanging glances.”
Of course, it was all done with Freddie’s usual irrepressible sense of fun and playfulness.
Once he embraced his sexuality, he famously delighted in teasing others and sometimes exaggerated his behaviour for effect, off stage as much as on.
Bono added: “I thought, ‘Wow, this guy’s really camp.’ I was telling somebody later and he said: ‘You’re surprised? They’re called Queen!’ But I was really amazed. It hadn’t dawned on me.”
Freddie, of course, meant nothing by it. He was accompanied at Live aid by his partner Jim Hutton.