In September of 2016, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin, came out as gay. And now he has announced that he is due to get married.
At the time of his coming out, Lord Mountbatten told the Mail on Sunday about his long-term relationship with James Coyle, an airline cabin services director, and the happiness he had found.
“Being a Mountbatten was never the problem,” he told the paper, “It was the generation into which I was born. When I was growing up, it was known as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, but what’s amazing now is how far we have all come in terms of acceptance.”
Speaking to the MailOnline, Lord Mountbatten said: “All my good friends have accepted James. I basically told everyone: ‘I’ve found somebody — it’s a bloke.’ They just started laughing.
“They just started laughing. Then they met James and one particular mate said: ‘If I was gay, I’d certainly go for him.'”
Lord Mountbatten also confirmed that he had received a full blessing from the Royal Family. The wedding itself is due to take place later in the Summer, in Lord Mountbatten’s private chapel on his country estate in Devon.
In the article, Lord Mountbatten confirmed that it was him who was pushing for the marriage. “‘I really wanted to do it for James. He hasn’t been married,” he said.
He continued, saying: “‘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.”
Before he came out, Lord Mountbatten was married to Penny Thompson, although the couple divorced in 2011. However, showing that there is no bad blood between the couple, Penny will be the person walking Lord Mountbatten down the aisle.
“It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched,” she said. She also mentioned how her and James had began getting on within “ten seconds” of meeting each other.
She further added: “What I don’t think Ivar realises is how much he has changed as a man since he came out. James is hugely responsible for that because he’s so much fun.
“‘Ivar is so much more relaxed these days. He’s so much kinder. He’s become a great cook. I now call him Fanny Cradock.
“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.”
Even though the MailOnline is associated with The Daily Mail, which is known to be quite homophobic, the majority of the comments on the article were incredibly supportive.
“Love is Love. Wishing them all the best especially the wife who certainly has a halo above her head in my estimation,” said one. Another said: “Heartening to read about such wonderful relationships and the understanding all round.”
And back in April it was found that nearly three quarters of British people didn’t object to a same-sex royal wedding, and that two-thirds were supportive of the idea.