The royal family are making history this summer as they have their first ever same-sex marriage.
Following the welcome of Meghan Markle as the first mixed race woman to marry into the British royal family, the royals are taking another step forward as they have a same-sex marriage in the extended family.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten will marry his partner James Coyle later this summer, after he became the first member of the royal family to come out two years ago.
He is the Queen’s third cousin once removed – but we can just call him a cousin for now to save time – and is the son of the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven.
Lord Mountbatten was previously married to Lady Penny Mountbatten, and the couple had three daughters together.
After 16 years of marriage, Lord Ivar admitted he’d struggled with his sexuality throughout their relationship, the Daily Mail reports.
He spoke of the generational pressures surrounding marriage and sexuality:
I sort of had to suppress those feelings, particularly in my position. I didn’t want to go and have assignations that might cause controversy.
It was the convention of our generation that you got married — to a woman.
The couple divorced 8 years ago.
Lady Penny is reportedly very supportive of her ex-husband’s new marriage, and is even set to walk him down the aisle at the wedding.
She explained the decision to give away her former husband:
It was the girls’ idea. It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.
She spoke about the relationship between herself and Lord Ivar’s new partner James, explaining the two got on straightaway:
Ivar is so much more relaxed these days. He’s so much kinder. He’s become a great cook. I now call him Fanny Cradock.
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.
The upcoming wedding is said to have received blessings from the couple’s extended family as well as their close friends and family.
The Queen’s son, Prince Edward, is a lifelong friend of Lord Ivar’s, and he and his wife Sophie are reportedly very happy to hear about the wedding.
Speaking about his upcoming marriage, and his ex-wife Lord Ivar said:
They are both so similar. James hates it when I say that, but, oh God, they’re so caring and so giving.
I loved Penny when we were married, as I still do very much, and I loved our family unit. I never thought this would happen. It’s brilliant, but I never thought I’d marry a man.
We’ll be pronounced partners in marriage, but the ceremony itself will be very small. It’s just for the girls and close family and friends.
James explained the marriage is ‘very modern’ as neither men proposed, but rather just accepted their love and care for each other.
Ivar’s daughters are said to be very open to the marriage, and James now considers them his children too.
The Queen has not yet spoken about Lord Ivar’s wedding, but has in the past made reference to LGBT+ rights.
At the State Opening of Parliament in 2017, she said:
My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
The couple are set to marry in Devon later this year.
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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.