Royals

The Queen’s cousin says the royal family ‘don't communicate very well’

Lord Ivar Mountbatten is the first openly gay member of the British royal family, but says his sexual orientation isn’t something the royal family discusses.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten made history last year when he married James Coyle in September, marking the first ever same-sex marriage in the British royal family, and while they're set to celebrate their first anniversary this month, Lord Ivar says he still has no idea how his coming out was viewed by the rest of the royal family.
When asked by Tatler whether he thinks his decision has been good for the royal family, the 56-year-old replied with a laugh, "Well, you would hope so!"
"But they don't really talk about it. I mean, the royals, they don't communicate very well," Lord Ivar admits.
Perhaps the Duke of Cambridge's response earlier this year when asked how he'd feel if one of his children came out as gay is a good clue into how it would have been received.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten (right) on his wedding day to James Coyle in September 2018. (Image: Instagram/@ivar_mountbatten)
When visiting the Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisations working with LGBTQ+ youth, in June, Prince William sat down to chat with young people supported by the trust and was asked how he would feel if one of his children – Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 4, or Prince Louis, 1 – came out as gay or identified as LGBTQ+.
"It is something that I'm nervous about," William admitted.
"Not because I'm worried about them being gay or anything, it's more about the fact that I'm worried about the pressures, as you are all worried about here, and how much harder their life could be.
"So from a parent point of view, that's the angle I worry about is that I wish we lived in a world that, as you said, that it was really normal, but particularly for my family with the position that we are in, that's the bit that I'm nervous about."
Adding: "I fully support whatever decision they make, but it does worry me from a parent point of view how many barriers, you know, hateful words, persecution, all that discrimination that might come with it, that's the bit that really troubles me.
"But that's for all of us to try and help correct and make sure we can put that to the past and not come back to that society."
WATCH: Prince William shares how he'd feel if one of his children came out as identifying as LQBTQ+. Story continues below...
Lord Ivar, who is also the first member of the extended British royal family to publicly come out as gay (he came out in 2016), is related to both the Queen and Prince Philip, with Queen Victoria being his great-great-great grandmother, and says even a year after tying the knot to airline cabin service director James, 57, he still finds it a little odd to have a husband.
"I find it quite odd," he shared to Tatler, followed by a deep roaring laugh.
"I supposed I'm quite traditional."
The couple married at Ivar's Grade-I listed home in Devon, Ivar's second marriage after his wedding to Penelope (Penny) Thompson in April 1994, with whom he has three daughters, Ella, 23, Alexandra, 21, and Louise, 17.
Ivar and Penny divorced amicably in 2011 with Penny even walking Ivar down the aisle on his wedding day last year.
"It was the girls' idea," Penny told the Daily Mail at the time.
"It makes me feel quite emotional. I'm really very touched."

In a previous interview with the Daily Mail in 2016 Ivar admitted, "I could never tell my parents I was gay," explaining because of the times and where he grew up, gay men were called "every derogatory under the sun," however says it's a sign of the times that since coming out, he and James have not yet received a single negative reaction from anyone.
"When I mentioned it [that I was gay] to Ella she was very cool about it," Ivar told Tatler.
"I think that generation are totally unfazed by it all."
Lord Ivar Mountbatten is the godfather of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex's daughter Lady Louis Windsor while Prince Edward is the godfather of Ivar's eldest daughter Ella, and Countess Sophie is one of Alix's godmothers.
Both Edward and Sophie were invited to Ivar second wedding, and while they were unfortunately unable to attend, the couple sent their warmest wishes to the happy couple.