Queen Elizabeth's Cousin Is Getting Married in the Royal Family's First Ever Gay Wedding

Jun 18, 2018 at 6:05 p.m. ET
Lord Ivar Mountbatten attend the drinks reception hosted by Dockers
Image: David M. Benett/Getty Images For Dockers.

The royal family is about to get yet another welcome touch of modernity by way of a royal wedding in the near future. While the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, was notable for the fact that Meghan is one of the few biracial people to have married into the royal family, one of Harry's relatives, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, is about to enter into a similarly progressive union after getting engaged over the weekend to his partner, James Coyle.

More: The Queen Gifted Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Yet Another House

Mountbatten and Coyle's wedding will be the first same-sex marriage performed for a member of the royal family — a true landmark event. If the name Mountbatten sounds familiar to fans of the royal family, it's because Mountbatten is the first cousin once removed of Prince Philip (also a Mountbatten), and he is also the queen's third cousin once removed. 

This is undoubtedly a happy time for Mountbatten and Coyle. Mountbatten announced the news to the world on his Instagram on Saturday with a photo of Coyle holding a massive bottle of Champagne. 

"So the big news today is that we are now officially engaged! As usual, James has gone overboard with his purchases. You’re not a Lord yet Jimmy!" he joked in the caption.

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According to Refinery29, Mountbatten came out in 2016 after being married to Penelope Thompson for 16 years. The couple had three daughters, and it would seem the pair split on very amicable terms. Shortly after Mountbatten announced his engagement to Coyle, he confirmed that Thompson will actually be the one giving him away at the wedding; how sweet is that? 

"Future and former spouses," Mountbatten wrote as the caption to a photo he again post to his Instagram on Sunday. "My daughters decided it was only right their Mum should walk me down the aisle and give me away to James. Here’s hoping he won’t say no at the last minute."

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According to the Daily Mail, Mountbatten and Coyle have been together since around the time he came out publicly in 2016. The pair met at a skiing resort in Verbier, Switzerland. Since then, Mountbatten has dutifully documented the couple's life together, with holidays spent abroad and lots of love exchanged. Coyle told the Mail to expect a wedding as simple and pure as their love. 

"It’s a very modern marriage," he remarked of the wedding they're planning at a small chapel in Devon, England, saying of the proposal, "There was no proposal, just an acceptance of this great love."

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There is no word yet on whether any members of the immediate British royal family plan to attend the wedding. Refinery29 reports that Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth II's third son, has expressed his support for the union. Regardless, this is most assuredly a happy time for Mountbatten and Coyle. 

A history-making congratulations is in order!

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