The Royal Family have had their first same-sex wedding.
The Queen’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his partner, James Coyle, on Saturday (September 22) two years after coming out.
Lord Ivar is a divorced father of three, who married his ex-wife, Penny, 24 years ago. The pair remain on good terms – so much so, Penny gave him away at his wedding at the weekend.
Lord Ivar and Mr Coyle exchanged rings and vows in front of 60 guests made up of family and friends, including Lord Ivar’s three daughters.
The ceremony took place in a private chapel at Bridwell Park, a Grade I-listed mansion near the village of Uffculme, Devon, where Lord Ivar and Penny raised their children.
Sharing a picture with his old and new partners on Instagram, Lord Ivar wrote:
Future and former spouses. My daughters decided it was only right their Mum should walk me down the aisle and give me away to James.
Here’s hoping he won’t say no at the last minute.
No immediate members of the royal family attended the wedding, but Lord Ivar and James received lots of good wishes, including a congratulations from Prince Edward, Lord Ivar’s life-long friend.
Speaking of Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Lord Ivar explained to the Daily Mail:
Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they were not free, but they adore James.
The newly married couple’s honeymoon has been pushed back to later in the year, with its destination yet to be decided.
The wedding celebrations were spread over the weekend, with a welcome dinner for 30 guests on Friday night before the ceremony itself on Saturday afternoon.
Guests had dinner in the orangery, the same setting where speeches were made and dancing took place.
Instead of accepting gifts, the couple asked guests to make a donation to spinal injury charity, Regain.
Lord Ivar explained the couple’s decision to marry:
I suppose if we had met ten years ago a civil partnership would have been nice, but now that marriage between a man and a man is legal it seems the right thing to do.
I have had the whole marriage thing — and been very happy — but James hasn’t, so I see it as a validation of my love for him.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.