The first ever gay Royal wedding has been announced
The first member of the Royal Family to come out as gay is set to marry.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten opened up about his sexuality in 2016 after a decades-long struggle.
Later this summer, the Royal – who is cousin to the Queen and the great-nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma – will wed his long-term partner James Coyle, who was by his side when he revealed he was gay.
The news comes just weeks after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot at Windsor Castle, with the couple making their support for LGBT rights clear in the build-up to the wedding by meeting with young LGBT activists from across the Commonwealth.
The Lord, who is the great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, will wed Coyle at a private chapel in Devon in front of the couple’s close friends and family, including Mountbatten’s three daughters from his previous marriage, Ella, Alix and Luli.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Mountbatten said he had encountered no backlash at all over the planned union – including from his extended family.
“All my good friends have accepted James,” he revealed. “I basically told everyone: ‘I’ve found somebody — it’s a bloke.’ They just started laughing.
“Then they met James and one particular mate said: ‘If I was gay, I’d certainly go for him.'”
The 55-year-old Royal said he still wasn’t entirely comfortable with his sexuality.
“Being completely truthful, it doesn’t sit comfortably with me that I’m going out with a man,” he said.
“I’ve lived my whole life as a heterosexual. So, all of a sudden, having a bloke around is unusual — even now.
“It’s brilliant but I suppose in an ideal world I would prefer to have a wife because that has always been the norm.”
But, he added, he had accepted that he was born that way.
“We were talking with friends in Bermuda about this nature-nurture business not so long ago,” said Mountbatten.
“I knew from the age of eight I was more attracted to men. I definitely think it’s in the genes. You’re either gay or you’re not.’
He said that the wedding was his idea, revealing: “I really wanted to do it for James. He hasn’t been married.
“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.
“James hasn’t had the stable life I have,” he continued, before turning to his partner, an airline cabin services director, and telling him: “I want to be able to give you that.”
Coyle said: “It’s a very modern marriage. There was no proposal, just an acceptance of this great love. He cares. I care. The girls are very accepting.
“Three years ago they were saying: ‘Wow. Are you guys going to get married?’
“We said: ‘Don’t be ridiculous. It’s absolutely not on the radar at all.’ But gradually it has become something that makes sense.
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“Now we’ve started to get a plan in place, I’m getting a lot more excited. We went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago and said: ‘We’re not doing that. We’re not cutting cakes. We’re not having a first dance.’
‘We’ll be pronounced partners in marriage, but the ceremony itself will be very small,” he added.
“It’s just for the girls and close family and friends.”
Mountbatten will be given away by his ex-wife of 16 years, Penny Mountbatten, who said she was delighted by the prospect, revealing: “It was the girls’ idea.
“It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.”