- The Magazine
The British Royal Family has announced its first same-sex wedding.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a third cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth and the great-nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, will be the first member of the Queen’s extended family to marry their same-sex partner, a month after Prince Harry tied the knot with Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex.
Lord Mountbatten, a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, came out in 2016, becoming the first openly gay member of the extended Royal Family.
Mountbatten will marry his partner James Coyle, an airline cabin services director whom he met at a ski resort in Verbier, in a small, private ceremony later this summer on his country estate.
He said that his marriage has the full blessing of their extended family and those closest to them.
“All my good friends have accepted James, I basically told everyone: ‘I’ve found somebody — it’s a bloke. They just started laughing,'” Mountbatten told the Daily Mail. “Then they met James and one particular mate said: ‘If I was gay, I’d certainly go for him.’”
Lord Ivar was previously married to Lady Penny Mountbatten for 16 years, having three daughters with her. They separated in 2011, and said he had struggled with his sexuality for the majority of their marriage.
However, not only is Lady Mountbatten supportive of the wedding, she will also be giving Mountbatten away.
“It was the girls’ idea,” she said. “It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.”
Asked whether she took issue with seeing her former husband remarry, Lady Mountbatten said not at all.
“Ivar is so much more relaxed these days. He’s so much kinder,” she said, adding, “He probably wasn’t even aware that by keeping his sexuality a secret it was really quite tormenting him. Now it’s ‘out’ he’s a completely different person. Everybody says they’ve never seen him happier.”
While Lord Mountbatten said that he is not fully comfortable with his sexuality yet, he wants to marry James to provide for his needs.
“For me, what’s interesting is I don’t need to get married because I’ve been there, done that and have my wonderful children; but I’m pushing it because I think it’s important for him,” Lord Mountbatten said. “James hasn’t had the stable life I have. I want to be able to give [him] that.”
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