The British royal family is gearing up for another historic wedding. Later this summer, the Queen's cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, will become the first member of the extended royal family to have a same-sex marriage. Lord Ivar will marry his partner, James Coyle, in a private chapel in Devon.
Lord Ivar's ex-wife, Penny, with whom he has three daughters, will give him away at the ceremony.
"It was the girls' idea," she explained in an interview with the Daily Mail. 'It makes me feel quite emotional. "I'm really very touched."
Penny is immensely supportive of her ex-husband's new relationship and knew going into her marriage with Lord Ivar that he identified as bisexual.
"What I don't think Ivar realizes 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," she said. "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."
The wedding has the full blessing of the family. One of Lord Ivar's best friends is Prince Edward. Lord Ivar is a godparent to Edward's daughter Louise and the Earl and Countess of Wessex are godparents to Lord Ivar's two oldest children.
"Sophie and Edward know of our plans and are really excited for us," Lord Ivar explained. "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.