Lord Ivar Mountbatten will marry James Coyle, his partner of two years, in the monarchy’s first-ever same-sex marriage later this summer. Meghan Markle made history in May as the first black and American woman to marry into the British royal family.
British Royal Family gives full support for its first same-sex marriage
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and descendant of Queen Victoria, first made history when he publicly announced he was gay in 2016 and became the first member of the royal family to do so.
He has three children with his former wife Penny Mountbatten, who has been openly supportive of her husband’s relationship with James Coyle. She said last week that she plans to walk Mountbatten down the aisle at the suggestion of their daughters.
Another historic royal wedding is set to take place this summer the family’s first same-sex marriage. Lord Mountbatten revealed he was in a relationship with James Coyle, who he will marry during the summer.
What are the plans for the wedding day?
Mountbatten said the wedding would be held in a private chapel on his estate in Devon will be small and intimate, with just close friends and family in attendance followed by a bigger reception of 120 guests.
While the members of the core royal family – meaning the Queen Elizabeth II and her direct descendants – are not expected to attend, yet the couple has the full support of the royal family.
And while there will not be traditional wedding components such as a first dance, white doves or a wedding cake, there will be cheese, according to the pair.
Of the couple’s decision to marry and have a wedding, Lord Mountbatten said he wants to do it for his partner,
“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,” Lord Mountbatten said. “James hasn’t had the stable life I have. I want to be able to give you that.”
How would the Royal Family give full support?
Lord Mountbatten said his royal relatives know of the wedding 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”.
Although the Queen has not commented on her cousin’s upcoming nuptials, she has previously made statements in support of LGBT rights. During her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in 2017, she 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.”
On May 19, 2018, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, made history when she married Prince Harry and became the first mixed-race woman to marry into the British royal family.
Will same-sex marriage is legal at U.K.?
While Mountbatten will go down in history books as the first Royal to marry a member of the same sex, news of his marriage isn’t raising eyebrows in the United Kingdom.
According to data collected by the British national census in 2016, over 60 per cent of the U.K. does not find anything wrong with same-sex relationships. Same-sex marriage was legalized in most parts of the U.K. four years ago, and while it is still not recognized in Northern Ireland, civil partnerships have been available since 2005.
Mountbatten is also sufficiently distant from the throne that his marriage does not raise any issues involving the constitution, said Jonathan Thomas, the publisher of Anglotopia.net who has been covering the British monarchy and British culture since 2007.
The royal family still abides by a law passed in 1772, titled the Royal Marriages Act, that requires the first six people in the line of succession to receive permission from the ruling monarch before they marry. (The Queen gave her formal consent to Prince Harry and Markle in March.) Because Mountbatten is so far away from the line of succession, and because he already has children, his marriage to Coyle has little bearing on the leaders of the family.
Nonetheless, Mountbatten has broken new ground, Thomas said. “Change happens a lot around the edges, and as people further from the center make changes, these (changes) will increase toward the center”.