It was panned by critics, but Bohemian Rhapsody won best film at the Golden Globes on Sunday and has made almost $1 billion at the box office.

Now the huge success of the movie about the band Queen will see Mary Austin, the former fiancee of lead singer Freddie Mercury, scoop around $75million in royalties.

She met Mercury in 1970 when she was a 19-year-old art student and they moved in together before he was famous. Although their engagement ended when he told her he was gay, the pair remained remarkably close for the rest of his life.

Rock singer Freddie Mercury (R) drinking a class of champagne as his girlfriend Mary Austin looks on during party for friends at home in 1977. Photo / Getty Images
Rock singer Freddie Mercury (R) drinking a class of champagne as his girlfriend Mary Austin looks on during party for friends at home in 1977. Photo / Getty Images

And after his death in 1991 he left her 50 per cent of his future earnings. A further 25 per cent went to his parents and 25 per cent to his sister.

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Miss Austin's share increased to 75 per cent after the death of Mercury's parents. He had also left her his 28-room $37million west London mansion, as well as the bulk of his $17million fortune - including his art collection and Louis XV furniture.

According to financial records, future earnings of Queen are split four ways between the Freddie Mercury estate and his three surviving bandmates - guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon. It means that Miss Austin receives around 19 per cent.

Miss Austin, 67, is understood to have little to do with May, Taylor or Deacon and is not thought to have had any involvement in the production of the film Bohemian Rhapsody, in which she is played by actress Lucy Boynton.

The Queen song the film is named after has been downloaded 1.6billion times around the world.

Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) with Mary Austin. Photo / Getty Images
Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) with Mary Austin. Photo / Getty Images

But when the movie was released in October it was mocked by critics, with comments including "Freddie Mercury biopic bites the dust", "this karaoke-style paean is all style, no soul" and "strung together with join-the-dots plotting".

Against the odds, however, the film was named best motion picture at the Golden Globes on Sunday, while Rami Malek won the award for best actor for his portrayal of Mercury.

The film, which cost $75million to make, has earned $1billion around the world. It is now a major contender for success at the Oscars next month.

Miss Austin has kept away from the bright lights, choosing to live a quiet life in Mercury's former home. She is occasionally spotted popping to the shops in trainers and sports clothing.

In a rare interview six years ago, she admitted that inheriting Mercury's fortune was a burden which had caused "bitter resentment", not least among the surviving band members.

Singer Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin. Photo / Getty Images
Singer Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin. Photo / Getty Images

She also recounted the moment he told her he was gay after six years together. Miss Austin recalled: "He said, "I think I am bisexual", I told him, "I think you're gay". And nothing else was said. We just hugged."

Swearing he still loved and needed her, he pleaded with her to remain his closest companion, and installed her in a flat near his home. Close friends say she became a sort of surrogate mother to him for the rest of his life and nursed him before he died from Aids.

L-R, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon and Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor star in Twentieth Century Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody. Photo / Supplied
L-R, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon and Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor star in Twentieth Century Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody. Photo / Supplied

Mercury once said: "I couldn't fall in love with a man the same way as I have with Mary."

Miss Austin has two adult sons by painter Piers Cameron and was married to businessman Nick Holford, but both relationships were short-lived. It appears she found it difficult to find anyone to live up to Mercury.

His surviving bandmates are each expected to receive at least $118million from the movie, though this could rise to nearer $131million.

Queen at Les Ambassadeurs. From left to right, John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May. Photo / Getty Images
Queen at Les Ambassadeurs. From left to right, John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May. Photo / Getty Images

The trio are already vastly wealthy. The 2018 Sunday Times Rich List valued May's fortune at $253million, Taylor's at $244million and Deacon's at $197million. This will rocket when they receive royalties from the blockbuster.

A film insider said: "They will be massively in profit. Because Queen Films made the film they are quite high up the waterfall of money that cascades down from the film.

"This film was created and managed by Queen, which means they can protect their share.

I would expect the studio to get around 50 per cent and the rest to go to the surviving Queen members and the Freddie Mercury estate."

A spokesman for Queen declined to comment. Miss Austin did not respond to requests for comment.