weddings

The Royals just made history with their first same-sex wedding.

The British Royal family is enjoying a glut of weddings lately. There were the nuptials between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May, Princess Eugenie’s to come in October and Lady Gabriella Windsor’s early next year.

And over the weekend came another history-making union.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Queen Elizabeth’s third cousin (and Prince Phillip’s second), married his partner James Coyle, in the first same-sex wedding of the extended Royal family.

The couple wed at a country house in Devon, England, on Saturday, three years after they met at the Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

The ceremony itself was an intimate occasion, with close family and friends in attendance, including Lord Mountbatten’s three daughters, Ella, 22, Alix, 20, and Luli, 16, from his first marriage. Despite their split in 2011, the 55-year-old aristocrat has remained incredibly close to ex-wife, Penny Mountbatten; so much so that she helped plan the occasion and even walked him down the aisle.

“It was the girls’ idea,” Penny told The Daily Mail ahead of the wedding. “It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.”

Lord Ivar and Lady Penny in 2001. Image: Getty.

The ceremony was followed by party with 120 guests, at which there were to be no "twee" traditions, the couple said beforehand; no first dance, no cake-cutting, no white doves. Just "lovely food" and "really good music".

"It's a very modern marriage," James, an airline cabin services director, told The Daily Mail. "There was no proposal, just an acceptance of this great love. He cares. I care."

It remains unclear if any of the Royals' inner circle were in attendance for the function.

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Prior to the wedding the couple told the publication, that Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex - godparents to Lord Ivar and Penny's eldest children - were "really excited" about the marriage, but were unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

"Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they're not around, but they adore James. Everyone adores him," Lord Ivar said.

In an Instagram post about the wedding, Lord Ivar described the occasion as "amazing" despite "the miserable British weather".

"A massive thanks to my three gorgeous girls for being so understanding and supportive, without their support this could never have happened!" he wrote. "And finally the biggest thank you to James for being just perfect."

Lord Ivar came out as gay in 2016 by announcing his relationship with James.

Though he recognised his attraction to men from age eight, he'd kept it secret for decades. He had told Penny he was bisexual prior to their engagement, and she "gave him his freedom" within their relationship to explore his sexuality. But after 15 years of marriage she ultimately walked away.

"I was approaching 40 and thought, 'It's now or never. I'm going to stay in this marriage, where I don't feel our relationship can ever be whole, or leave,'" she told The Daily Mail. "I knew Ivar couldn't be his authentic self unless I left. We both had to take wing and be the people we needed to be."

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