Queen's cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten ties the knot with new husband in first-ever gay marriage in the extended royal family
Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his partner James Coyle in a private ceremony at his estate in Devon this past Saturday.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten caused quite the uproar two years ago when he confessed to struggling with his sexuality throughout the course of his 16-year marriage with now ex-wife Penelope Thompson and officially came out as gay. This past June, he announced that he would be marrying boyfriend James Coyle, an airline cabin services director he met while at a ski resort in Verbier.
The pair finally tied the knot this past Saturday, September 22, in a private ceremony on Mountbatten's estate in Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Devon, which had been converted into an exclusive-use venue for weddings, corporate functions, and business events following Ivar's divorce with Penelope. The event was a watershed one, marking the first-ever same-sex marriage in the extended royal family.
Ivar, a farmer and geologist, is the son of David Mountbatten, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, and is a third cousin, once removed of Queen Elizabeth. Queen Victoria was his great-great-great grandmother and he's also the first cousin, once removed of Prince Philip. He married Penelope in 1994 and the two have three daughters together — 22-year-old Ella, 20-year-old Alix, and 15-year-old Luli — though the pair separated in September 2010 before divorcing amicably in November 2011.
Ivar and Penelope remain close, in fact, that it was Penelope who walked her ex-husband down the aisle and handed him over to his new partner. It was reportedly the idea of their three daughters, who were amongst the 60-strong crowd of family and friends who witnessed Ivar and James exchange their vows. Sporting matching velvet smoking jackets, the pair looked as stylish as ever.
The weekend-long events began with a welcome dinner for 30 hosted by the couple on Friday night, with the ceremony itself beginning on Saturday afternoon. There were no gifts, with Ivar and James both asking that guests make a donation to Regain, a spinal injury charity. Following the ceremony, the guests moved to the Orangery for a dinner of monkfishes, speeches, and then dancing.
Hey @TheAdvocateMag Lord Ivar Mountbatten, 1st cousin once removed of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and 3rd cousin once removed of Her Majesty The Queen and I think 480ish in line married James Coyle the first extended family member of @RoyalFamily in #samesexmarriage pic.twitter.com/0vBtUeNczr— Sr Iona Dubble-Wyde (@Sisteridw) 23 September 2018
According to the Daily Mail, nine singers from Bristol's Teachers Rock gospel choir serenaded the new couple, with the toasts from the two best men seeing the guests raising flutes of Pol Roger, supposedly Churchill's favorite champagne. While there were no royal witnesses for the marriage, he did get the best regards of Prince Edward, whose daughter Lady Louise happens to be his godchild.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, who are the godparents to two of his eldest daughters, could not make it to the ceremony because of their busy schedule. Addressing their absence, Ivar said, "Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they were not free." "But they adore James," he added.
He had previously been very thankful of how understanding his wife had been about his sexuality. "Penny was aware before we got married...that my attraction went both ways. She was understanding and I will always be grateful to her," he had said.