Royal Family's First Ever Gay Wedding

Times they are a-changin'.

It looks as though 2018 is going to be a year for historic royal weddings.

Less than a month ago, we witnessed Meghan Markle become the first mixed-race woman to marry into the British royal family, and in a matter of months, the queen's cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten will wed his partner James Coyle, marking the first ever gay wedding -- hooray! 

According to reports, the loved-up pair will tie the knot later this year in a very intimate ceremony at a private chapel in Ivar's country estate in Devon.

While the news couldn't have come at a better time for the royals, it's been a rough couple of years for Ivar, who came out in 2016, after he divorced his wife Penny.

At the time, the great-great-great-grandson of queen Victoria confessed he'd struggled with his sexuality throughout most of his 16-year marriage to Penny but finally he admitted to being gay after meeting James at the luxe Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

As news of his sexuality broke, Ivar told The Mail on Sunday that while it had been a "real journey" to come out, by doing so it had enabled him to finally become the person he wanted and needed to be.

“I was driven into the closet by not wanting to come to terms with who I was and facing friends and family in the early years. I buried it. I even had girlfriends as I tried to work out what I wanted to be," Ivar said.

“It was not an easy time in my teens or twenties. I’m just so pleased now to have found someone who I am happy to call my partner.”

Lord Ivar Mountbatten attending Lady Louise Windsor Christening. Image: Getty.

Despite being a VERY modern wedding, the couple say it will be understated nonetheless.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, James said while one might conjure images of the lord on bended knee proposing, in reality, there was none of that. "There was no proposal, just an acceptance of this great love," he said.

James added that unlike other traditional royal weddings, the ceremony will be very small and pared back. Only 120 guests are apparently being invited to the so-called "after party", which, according to James, will have plenty of "lovely food and really good music".

What's more, it's reported that there will be no "cutting of the cake" or "first dance", and "there won’t be two men in tuxedos on a cake, white doves or anything twee or contrived like that,” James said.

But in a rather fabulous twist, ex-wife Penny will be the one to give her ex-husband Ivar away -- an idea she says their three daughters Ella, 22, Alix, 20, and Luli, 15 -- came up with. Awww!

While some people might find it strange, Penny is apparently thrilled to be part of the nuptials. “It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched,” she said to the Daily Mail.

“Ivar is so much more relaxed these days. He’s so much kinder. 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,” she said.

So with the tremendous news, does this mean we can expect to see a posse of royal well-wishers attending on the day? Well, we can't say for sure but no doubt there will be some familiar faces -- hopefully donning the gay pride colours.

Among the relatives and close friends who have given their blessings to the soon-to-be newlyweds is the queen's youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, who according to People, simply "adore James".

The Earl and Countess of Wessex apparently "adore James". Image: Getty.

What's more, Ivar reportedly told the Daily Mail that all of his good friends have fully accepted James -- but there was never option for them not to.

“I basically told everyone, ‘I’ve found somebody -- it’s a bloke.’ They just started laughing. Then they met James and one particular mate said, ‘If I was gay, I’d certainly go for him’,” he said.

While we love any excuse to celebrate a royal wedding, the news of the impending nuptials between Ivar and James is particularly wonderful. It's just another step moving forward. And we couldn't be happier. #lovewins

Feature image: Getty.