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Prince Harry ostensibly proved his heterosexual bona fides with his wedding to Meghan Markle in May, but the first out member of the British royal family just tied the knot, too. Lord Ivar Mountbatten, gay cousin to Queen Elizabeth, married James Coyle, his Scottish boyfriend of four years, on Saturday.
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Well we did it finally! It was an amazing day despite the miserable British weather. Fabulous service conducted by Trish Harrogate, chief Registrar for Devon, who set the perfect but lighthearted tone for what is a serious occasion. The accompanying gospel choir were amazing. Thank you so much to Bristol’s Teachers Rock Choir for your superb singing. Most importantly a massive thanks to my 3 gorgeous girls for being so understanding and supportive, without their support this could never have happened! And finally the biggest thank you to James for being just perfect……#wedidit #wonderfulday #despitetherain
The first same-sex royal wedding took place at Bridwell Park, a beautiful country home in Devon, with some 60 friends and family members attending despite the rainy weather.
Ivar’s three daughters were on hand, as was his dog and ex-wife, Penny, who walked the out aristocrat down the aisle. Though they divorced in 2011 after 17 years of marriage, the two have remained close. Lord Ivar, 55, came out publicly as bisexual in 2016.
“Penny was aware before we got married. I told her I was bisexual, that my attraction went both ways,” he explained. “We had a lot of fun, we have three fabulous daughters, and I don’t regret any stage of my life.”
Ivar is godfather to Prince Edward’s daughter, Louise, and Edward and his wife Sophie are both godparents to his two eldest daughters. Still, none of the royals could make the ceremony.
“Their diaries are arranged months in advance, and they were not free,” Ivar told the Daily Mail. “But they adore James.”
A gospel choir provided the music during the service, which was followed by dinner, speeches and dancing. The men, who wore matching velvet smoking jackets, will honeymoon in either Greece or Croatia later this year.
“I suppose if we had met 10 years ago a civil partnership would have been nice, but now that marriage between a man and a man is legal it seems the right thing to do, Lord Ivar said. “I have had the whole marriage thing [before] — and been very happy — but James hasn’t. So I see it as a validation of my love for him.”
Ivar (back row, top left) is the great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria and the third cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. He is also a first cousin once removed of Prince Philip.