Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten has married in a low-key ceremony that marks the first-ever gay royal wedding.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, 55, was previously married to a woman but opened up about his sexuality in 2016 after a decades-long struggle.
Mountbatten has now become the first known member of the queen’s extended family to enter a same-sex marriage, though he is not regarded as an official member of the royal family.
He tied the knot on Saturday to James Coyle, an airline cabin manager who was by his side when he revealed he was gay.
In a touching move, Mountbatten was given away by his ex-wife, Penelope Thompson, with whom he has three children, Ella, Alix, and Luli.
Contrary to the pomp and ceremony of Princess Eugenie’s upcoming wedding, the Daily Mail reports that Mountbatten tied the knot in a ceremony attended by just 60 guests in the private chapel at Bridwell Park, his family home.
Mountbatten and Coyle wore matching velvet smoking jackets as they exchanged their vows and rings, proudly declaring their love for each other.
Though Princess Margaret and Prince Edward attended his wedding to Thompson in 1994, no members of the royal family were present to witness Mountbatten’s second wedding.
The Mail reports that Prince Edward, the queen’s youngest son, sent congratulations ahead of the ceremony, but he and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were unable to attend due to a diary clash.
Mountbatten told the Mail: “Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they were not free, but they adore James.”
The pair plan to honeymoon in Greece or Croatia, though they are yet to book the getaway.
Mountbatten added of their decision to marry: “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.”
Gospel choir group Elysian Music UK, which provided the music, posted a tribute to the pair.
The group tweeted: “What an incredible way to launch @ElysianmusicUK with @teachersrockUK. Performing for the wedding ceremony of Lord Ivar Mountbatten and James Coyle on the beautiful @Bridwellpark estate. A monumental day in the history of the British monarchy #royalfamily #alltogethernow”
More from PinkNews
|Stars You Didn't Know Were Gay Or Bisexual||The Stars You Didn’t Know Have An LGBT Sibling||The Straight Stars Who Went Gay For Pay|
What an incredible way to launch @ElysianmusicUK with @teachersrockUK. Performing for the wedding ceremony of Lord Ivar Mountbatten and James Coyle on the beautiful @Bridwellpark estate. A monumental day in the history of the British monarchy #royalfamily #alltogethernow pic.twitter.com/HNOzc6kFpM
— Elysian Music UK (@ElysianmusicUK) September 23, 2018
Speaking about his sexuality previously, Lord Mountbatten said: “I am a lot happier now, though I am still not 100 percent comfortable with being gay,
“Being a Mountbatten was never the problem, it was the generation into which I was born. When I was growing up, it was known as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, but what’s amazing now is how far we have all come in terms of acceptance.”
“Coming out is such a funny phrase but it’s what I suppose I did in a rather roundabout way, emerging to a place I’m happy to be. I have struggled with my sexuality and in some ways I still do; it has been a real journey to reach this point,” he added.
“Simply talking about it in public is a huge step for me. Up to this point, I have had a heterosexual lifestyle, so living with a man is really new. One step at a time.”
Mountbatten is not in the immediate line of succession to the British throne.
A member of the core royal family may face more pressing obstacles if they entered a same-sex marriage, as the centuries-old protocols that govern royal life do not generally provide for same-sex spouses.