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Queen Elizabeth's Cousin Will Be the First Member of the Royal Family to Have a Same-Sex Wedding

Lord Ivar Mountbatten will marry his partner James Coyle this summer.

Associate Digital Editor
Queen Elizabeth II royal wedding 2018
Photography by: ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/Getty Images

Meghan Markle isn't the only royal making history in 2018. This summer, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Queen Elizabeth's cousin, will officially wed his longtime partner James Coyle in what will be the first same-sex wedding in the royal family's history.

 

But this isn't the first time that Ivar, a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, has brought progress to the Crown. He became the first openly-gay royal in 2016, when he publicly announced that he was in a relationship with James. Ivar was previously married to his now ex-wife, Penny. They share three daughters and remain very close to this day.

 

Related: All the Ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Modernized Royal Weddings

 

So close, in fact, that Penny plans on giving Ivar away on the big day, reports the Daily Mail. "It was the girls' idea," she said. "It makes me feel quite emotional. I'm really very touched." The rest of Ivar's extended royal family, including Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie, is just as supportive. Unfortunately, the aforementioned royals won't be able to attend the impromptu ceremony. "Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they're not around, but they adore James. Everyone adores him," Ivar told the outlet.

 

As for the wedding itself, the actual ceremony will be intimate, with just close family and friends in attendance. Then, the newlyweds will throw a larger reception with 120 guests. According to Ivar, getting married isn't a necessity for having a happy life with James—but he's doing it out of his love for his future husband. "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," Ivar continued, turning to his partner. "I want to be able to give you that."