The rainbow flag flies above British Cabinet Offices, marking the first day Britain has allowed same sex marriages. Photo: Reuters
Another historic royal wedding is set to take place this summer - the family's first same-sex nuptials.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, first made history when he announced he was gay in 2016 and became the first member of the royal family to do so.
Following his announcement, Lord Mountbatten revealed he was in a relationship with James Coyle, who he will marry during the summer.
The wedding will be made even more special because Lord Mountbatten’s ex-wife will play a special part in the ceremony, it was revealed at the weekend.
Penny, with whom Lord Mountbatten has three daughters, told the Daily Mail she will be the one walking her ex-husband down the aisle.
“It was the girls’ idea,” she said of the new wedding details. “It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.”
Lord Mountbatten’s first royal wedding, which he referred to as "the best day of my life," was attended by the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, who have extended their blessing to the happy couple.
Speaking to the Mail, Lord Mountbatten said his royal relatives know of the plans and are “really excited for us.”
“Sadly they can’t come to the wedding. Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they’re not around, but they adore James. Everyone adores him,” he told the newspaper.
As for the plans for the big day, James revealed that the ceremony, taking place in the private chapel on Lord Mountbatten's estate in Devon, will be small and intimate, with just close friends and family in attendance followed by a bigger reception of 120 guests.
And while there will not be traditional wedding components such as a first dance, white doves or a wedding cake, there will be cheese, according to the pair.
Of the couple's decision to marry and have a wedding, Lord Mountbatten said he wants to do it for his partner.
“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,” Lord Mountbatten said. “James hasn’t had the stable life I have. I want to be able to give you that.”
Although the Queen has not commented on her cousin's upcoming nuptials, she has previously made statements in support of LGBT rights. During her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in 2017, she said: "My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability, or sexual orientation."
On May 19 2018, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, made history when she married Prince Harry and became the first mixed-race woman to marry into the British royal family.