Queen’s cousin comes out as the first openly gay royal

The Queen's cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten has spoken for the first time about his sexuality.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, 3rd cousin once removed of the Queen, has announced he is gay and in doing so has become the first British royal to openly come out.

The 53-year-old, the great-nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, has made the announcement to the Mail on Sunday and opened up about his life with his boyfriend, James Coyle, an airline cabin services director.

Above photo: Lord Ivar’s (top left) is a life-long friend Prince Edward, to whose eldest child he is a godparent.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten.

Before coming out to the publication, Lord Ivar said he had the blessing of his ex-wife Penny, by whom he has three daughters and divorced from in 2011, as well the blessing from as his wider family and his steadfast friend, Prince Edward, whose eldest child he is a godparent.

RELATED VIDEO: Prince William stars on cover of gay magazine ‘Attitude’

Of his decision to publicly disclose his sexuality this late in life Lord Ivar said he felt conflicted in his youth about how he’d be accepted.

“Being a Mountbatten was never the problem,” he told the Mail, “it was the generation into which I was born. When I was growing up, it was known as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, but what’s amazing now is how far we have all come in terms of acceptance.”

Of his marriage to Penny, his wife of more than 15 years, Lord Ivar said she always knew he had an interest in men.

“I never thought I would get married because I didn’t want to be untruthful,” he told the Mail. “Penny was aware before we got married. I told her I was bisexual, that my attraction went both ways.”

He added that Penny was “understanding and I will always be grateful to her.”

Lord Ivar, who is the great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, is now most senior noble of his generation and the first member of the extended Royal Family to come out as gay.

Earlier this year Prince William made history as the first member of the royal family to give an interview to a gay magazine.

After his chat with LGBTQI publication Attitude Prince William, who along with his wife, The Duchess of Cambridge, is an avid campaigner for youth mental health, wrote:

“No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives.

“The young gay, lesbian and transgender individuals I met through Attitude are truly brave to speak out and to give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now.

“Their sense of strength and optimism should give us all encouragement to stand up to bullying wherever we see it.”

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