The Queen’s gay cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten reveals his ex-wife gave him away when he married his husband
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin, has opened up about his life with husband James Coyle.
In 2018, Mountbatten became the first known member of the Queen’s extended family to enter a same-sex marriage (he is not regarded as an official member of the royal family, as he is far removed from the line of succession).
Mountbatten, who has three children with his ex-wife, spoke about his journey to self-acceptance in The Sunday Times.
“I’m still getting used to having a husband,” he explained.
“I’ve known I was bisexual for years and told my ex-wife, Penny, before we were married. I was married to Penny for 17 years and after we parted company in 2011 I felt unsure about dating again. That all changed when I met James.”
Mountbatten added that his three daughters and ex-wife “get on incredibly well” with his new husband, airline cabin services director James Coyle.
He continued: “When they first went to yoga together, the class assumed that he was Penny’s new man. She loved saying, ‘No, this is my ex-husband’s boyfriend.’ It’s fun to subvert expectations.
“When Penny lived nearby, if I couldn’t find James I knew he’d be having a coffee with her, b***hing about me.”
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Coyle added: “All three of his girls are off-the-scale fabulous. They’ve been really kind and welcoming in a situation that could have been difficult. Ivar’s ex-wife, Penny, is the glue that held it all together — she even gave him away at our wedding.”
‘I didn’t feel the need to discuss my sexuality with the royals’
Mountbatten told the newspaper that he seldom gets to go to royal events, as the family “has grown bigger over the years” and it ranks have been “slimmed right down”.
He added: “I was the first member of the extended family to come out as gay, but I didn’t feel the need to discuss my sexuality with the royals because it’s such a non-issue.”
Mountbatten previously said that while he might have the first member of the family to open up about his sexuality in 2016, he is far from the first LGBT+ person among his relatives.
In an interview last year, he said: “The older generation of my family have seen and done it all before. They were quite wayward in the 1940s. My aunt Nada [Mountbatten, 2nd Marchioness of Milford Haven] was a lesbian. You’ve got to try everything once, that’s what my mother always said.”