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First ‘Royal’ Gay Wedding in Europe

by Redaktie in History & Politics , 17 August 2018

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

In view of the sheer size of European royal families it was to be expected - and although you will never know for sure with that aristocratic restraint - probably sooner than later: a same-sex marriage within a royal family. That time has now come.

Mid-June, Lord Ivar Mountbatten announced that he will marry his partner James Coyle, an airline cabin services director, this summer.

One cannot expect this wedding to have the media circus tailing it as was the case with the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as Mountbatten is not close enough to Queen Elisabeth II. However, it is still an exceptional event.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten is a third cousin, once removed from the British queen and a full cousin of Elizbeth’s prince consort Philip. He also is a descendant of Russia’s Empress Catherine the Great. Lord Mountbatten was born in 1963, but he did not come out of the closet until September 2016. In an interview with the “Mail on Sunday” he noted: “Being a Mountbatten was never the problem. 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.”

with Penny Thompson (left)At the announcement of his marriage, Lord Mountbatten stated: “I really wanted to do it for James. He hasn’t been married.” He added: “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.”

Mountbatten was previously married to Penny Thompson, with whom he exchanged marriage vows in 1994. The couple has three children. The couple separated in September 2010 and officially divorced in November 2011. There is no bad blood between them, as Penny Thompson will now be walking Lord Mountbatten down the aisle.

In a response to Mountbatten’s coming out she once stated: “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.”

An British opinion poll conducted this spring, shortly before Prince Harry’s marriage, showed that three quarters of the 1,681 respondents had no objections to same-sex marriage, and that two thirds would support a same-sex royal marriage.

These results show a major change in British public opinion, as even in the 1990s, according to Professor Roger Mortimore of King’s College London, half of the population believed that homosexual sex is always wrong.



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