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The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

What we know about Lord Iver Mountbatten, who is the first openly gay member of the royal family. Source: Instagram @ivar_mountbatten

Lord Ivar Mountbatten made history when he came out as gay, becoming the first openly gay member of the royal family. In addition, the monarch even had a same-sex wedding, which was watched by the whole of the UK.

The 61-year-old cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II grew up in tradition, and his first marriage was to a woman, HELLO writes. Read on to find out what else is known about the lord.

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

Early life

Ivar is the son of Janet Mercedes Bryce and David Mountbatten, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven. He was educated at Gordonstoun Boarding School in Scotland, where King Charles and Prince Philip studied. The royal also attended college in Vermont in the United States.

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

Connections to the royal family

Ivar is the great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria and a relative of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. His father, David, was the godson of the Duke of Windsor, a godfather at the wedding of the Queen and Prince Philip, and a mentor to the then Prince Charles.

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

Princess Margaret and Prince Edward attended Ivar's first wedding, and he is the godfather of Lady Louise Windsor, the niece of the current king.

First marriage

Ivar married Penny Thompson in April 1994, and she knew that her husband was bisexual. The couple was married for 16 years and divorced in 2010. At the time, Ivar told The Daily Mail, "In the end, Penny didn't feel loved enough, she wanted more from her husband than she could get from me. Given my orientation, I was very surprised that she married me in the first place. Maybe she thought she could change me, but in the end she realized she couldn't."

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

Children

Ivar and Penny have three daughters: Ella, Louise and Alix. He has a close bond with all three, and has often publicly stated how supportive they are of their father and his current relationship. Ella is Prince Edward's goddaughter, and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, is Alix's godmother.

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

James and Ivar's love story

The couple met in Verbier, Switzerland, in March 2015, when James, the airline's cabin service director, mistook Ivar for a ski guide. They started talking, calling each other regularly and going on dates. A few weeks passed before the lord introduced his lover to his family.

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

Wedding

In 2018, James and Ivar got married in Devon. His first wife Penny, who supported him during the divorce, congratulated the newly-made family. On Instagram, Ivar wrote, "Well, we finally did it! It was an amazing day despite the terrible British weather."

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

He continued, "Most of all a huge thank you to my three beautiful girls for being so understanding and supportive, without their support this would never have happened! And finally, most of all, thank you to James for being just perfect."

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

Making history

Ivar wrote about his experience in The Independent. He said, "The fact that the world's press immediately focused on me, proclaiming me the 'first gay monarch' was quite disturbing. The reactions of my friends and family were very disturbing, and I wondered if my world was going to come crashing down."

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

"My fears, of course, were unfounded. Absolutely everyone supported me, and it soon became clear that in the scheme of things, your orientation does not matter to others," Ivar added.

The first openly gay man in the history of the royal family: what is known about Elizabeth II's cousin

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