The British Royal Family’s First LGBTQ Wedding Is Monumental

Lord Ivar Mountbatten and James Coyle posing together.
Lord Ivar Mountt| Paul_denton via Twitter

Royal wedding season is officially underway. We all get warm and fuzzy when we think about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s stunning nuptials which occurred May 19, 2018, at St. George’s chapel. The most anticipated wedding of the year did not disappoint, with Markle wearing a gorgeous Givenchy gown and a breathtaking veil. Though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s big day has passed, there is another major royal wedding on the horizon, and this will be a historic event.

Queen Elizabeth’s third cousin once removed, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, is set to marry his partner, James Coyle. Lord Mountbatten was married to Lady Penny Mountbatten from 1994 until 2011, and the former couple has three daughters together. In 2016, five years after the former couple’s divorce was finalized, Lord Mountbatten publicly came out as gay.

Speaking out to The Telegraph at the time, Mountbatten explained that he’d struggled with his sexuality for many many years, but he was “so pleased” to finally have found a genuinely compatible partner in Coyle. In his announcement, Mountbatten stated that he was in a relationship with Coyle. Mountbatten and Coyle met in 2016 at a Swiss ski resort village of Verbier.

At the time of his announcement, Mountbatten told The Daily Mail, “All my good friends have accepted James. 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.” They are a super cute couple.

When news of the wedding hit the media, Mountbatten revealed that it was his idea for he and Coyle to tie the knot. He explained to The Daily Mail, “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. I want to be able to give (him) that.” Seriously, how sweet is that?

Coyle is an airline cabin services director who has never been married before, nor does he have any children. Mountbatten and Coyle haven’t revealed their exact wedding date, but we do know that the two will be walking down the aisle sometime before the queen’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie’s wedding, which is set for November 2018.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten's estate.
The perfect place for an intimate ceremony. | House and Heritage via Twitter

The couple will say, “I do” in the private chapel at Mountbatten’s country estate. When the aristocrat, farmer, and geologist weds Coyle, it will mark the first gay marriage in the extended royal family’s history. Luckily, unlike their cousins, Mountbatten and Coyle aren’t tight-lipped about the details of their wedding.

Coyle told The Daily Mail,

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. Everyone else — about 120 friends — will arrive for the party afterwards. We’ll have lovely food and really good music, but there won’t be two men in tuxedos on a cake, white doves or anything twee or contrived like that, will there?”

Speaking of food, while Markle and Prince Harry had everything from an elderflower cake to cotton candy, and burgers, Mountbatten and Coyle’s big day will be slightly more low-key. With a massively smaller guest list and a much intimate ceremony, it doesn’t look like a cake is even on the menu. (A major mistake if you ask us.) Mountbatten told The Daily Mail, “We’ll probably have cheese, instead of cake.” Honestly, what’s wrong with both cheese and cake? No one said they couldn’t have both.

At this point, because things are relatively last minute (as far as royal scheduling is concerned), Mountbatten revealed that they aren’t sure if any of their royal family members will be able to attend. (Technically Mountbatten is an aristocrat, not a royal. ) Mountbatten is extremely close to the  Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex. In fact, he is the godfather of the couple’s son.

The father of three told The Daily Mail, “Sophie [Countess of Wessex] and [Prince] Edward know of our plans and are really excited for us. Sadly they can’t come to the wedding. Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they’re not around, but they adore James. Everyone adores him.”

Still, the wedding is going to be a lovely family affair. Mountbatten has remained very close to his ex-wife, Lady Penny Mountbatten. In fact, she will be escorting her ex-husband down the aisle to his new groom. She explained to the Daily Mail, “It was the girls’ idea. It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched. Ivar is so much more relaxed these days. He’s so much kinder. He’s become a great cook. 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.”

Since the royals are quite posh and reserved we don’t know if they will openly comment on Mountbatten and Coyle’s nuptials, but we do know that they are extremely supportive of the LGBTQ community. During her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in 2017, Queen Elizabeth 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.t/

Markle and Prince Harry have also been at the forefront of speaking out for the LGBTQ community, especially the youth.  They have both expressed their desire to put LGBT issues at the front of their work. We couldn’t be more excited for Mountbatten and Coyle; we wish them the best.

Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.

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