The royal family's first same-sex wedding is taking place this year

The first ever gay royal wedding will take place later this summer [Photo: Getty]

2018 is gearing up to be the year of important royal weddings.

We’ve already seen Meghan Markle tie the knot with Prince Harry. And Princess Eugenie is all set to marry Jack Brooksbank on October 12.

But before then the royal family is due to be celebrating another historic ‘I do’.

Later this summer the Queen’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, will become the first person in the extended royal family to enter into a same-sex marriage.

Lord Ivar is due to marry his long-term partner, James Coyle, in an intimate ceremony in the private chapel on Lord Ivar’s country estate in Devon.

Lord Ivar and the former Lady Mountbatten in 2005 [Photo: Rex]

In an interesting twist on the marriage proceedings, the groom-to-be will be given away by his ex-wife, Penny, the mother of his three daughters.

“It was the girls’ idea,” Penny explained in an interview with the Daily Mail. “It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.”

Penny is incredibly supportive of her ex-husband’s new relationship and was aware that Lord Ivar identified as bisexual before the couple married.

“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.”

A royal first

Speaking to the publication about the history-breaking nuptials, Lord Ivar revealed that his choice to wed for a second time was prompted by the fact his partner had never married.

“I really wanted to do it for James,” he said. “He hasn’t been married. 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. James hasn’t had the stable life I have. I want to be able to give you that.”

“I loved Penny when we were married, as I still do very much, and I loved our family unit,” he says. “I never thought this would happen. It’s brilliant, but I never thought I’d marry a man.”

The Queen’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, will marry his long-term partner James Coyle [Photo: Getty]

The wedding will go ahead with the full blessing of the royal 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.”

Lord Ivar also revealed that all three of his daughters are hugely excited about the thoroughly modern wedding.

“When I mentioned it to our eldest daughter, Ella, she said, ‘Oh Pap, it’s not a big deal. It’s so normal nowadays’.”

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for non-stop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyleUK.

Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

Did Meghan Markle’s Trooping the Colour outfit break royal protocol?

Meghan Markle returns to wedding dress designer Givenchy for first solo outing with the Queen

Meghan Markle wears floral £4,000 wedding guest dress, divides fans