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Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, described being called “the first gay royal” as “alarming”

Lord Ivar Mountbatten with queen elizabeth
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Lord Ivar Mountbatten, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin, wrote in The Independent on what it was like to be Britain’s “first gay royal.”

The piece, headed “As the ‘first gay royal,’ I owe everything to those who struggled for LGBT acceptance,” was released on Sunday.

Mountbatten wrote in the article about attending Brighton Pride for the first time with his spouse, James Coyle, in 2019, and how his coming out experience was “a lot less traumatic” than Coyle’s, who he described as experiencing “rejection, bullying, and abuse.”

“That said, having the world’s press shine a huge spotlight on me overnight proclaiming me ‘The First Gay Royal’ was nonetheless pretty alarming,” Mountbatten wrote.

“The reaction of my friends and family concerned me a lot, and I wondered if my world would suddenly collapse around me,” he added.

Mountbatten was previously married for 17 years to Penny, with whom he had three kids. He had been forthright about his sexuality with Penny, Mountbatten said, and following their divorce in 2011, he began seeing men.

Mountbatten came out in 2016, and he married Coyle in Devon, England, in 2018, becoming the first British royal to hold a same-sex wedding.

According to the Daily Mail at the time, Penny supported Mountbatten down the aisle at the request of their daughters.

The event was attended by 60 people, but no members of the royal family attended, as previously reported by Insider.

Mountbatten continued, writing that his original concerns about his family’s reaction were “unfounded.”

“Absolutely everyone was incredibly supportive, and it soon became clear that in the scheme of things, your sexuality is of no significance to others. In my case, it’s fair to say that once I had made that very public leap out of the closet, I wondered what all the fuss was about,” he wrote.

“To those who have suffered and indeed still suffer prejudice, persecution and even live under the threat of a death sentence, I am humbled and in gratitude to them. For them, I will continue to raise my rainbow flag with pride,” he added later in the essay.

Mountbatten also unveiled plans to hold Queer Spirit, a four-day event celebrating all things queer, from August 17 to August 21 at his residence in Bridwell Park, a country house estate in Devon, England. Weekend tickets start at £125, or approximately $155 for adults, while concession weekend tickets are £75, or around $93.

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