Lord Ivar Mountbatten: The Royal Family's first openly gay member set to appear on The Traitors US

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, the Royal Family's first openly gay member, will appear on the American version of reality TV series The Traitors.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten Royal family first openly gay member appear TV reality
© David M. Benett / Getty Images
Lord Ivar Mountbatten Royal family first openly gay member appear TV reality

The Royal family's first openly gay member, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, made history has he became the first member of the Firm to have a same-sex wedding. The royal is now set to also become the first to appear on a reality TV series, as he gets ready to join the cast of the next season of the American version of The Traitors.

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Here's all you should know about Lord Ivar Mountbatten.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten: The first openly gay royal

Lord Ivar Alexander Michael Mountbatten was born on 9 March 1963, in London. His parents were David Mountbatten, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, and Janet Mercedes Bryce. His father's title was passed down to his older brother, the first-born heir, George Mountbatten, who became the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven. His great-great-great-grandmother was none other than Queen Victoria, which makes him a second cousin of King Charles, through both of their fathers. Lord Ivar Mountbatten attended the same school at Prince Philip, and his son Charles III, Gordonstoun School. Later, he went on to study at the Middlebury College in Vermont, from which he graduated with a Bachelor's degree, specialised in the Arts.

He was the first member of the Firm to publicly come out

Lord Ivar Mountbatten was the first member of the Royal Family to get married to someone of the same gender. In 2018, he married James Coyle in the chapel of their home, Bridwell, in Devon. The small ceremony was much more simple than his first wedding. Indeed, Lord Ivar Mountbatten was first married to a woman, Penelope Anne Vere Thompson, in 1994. The couple had three daughters together: Ella Louise Georgina, Alexandra 'Alix' Nada Victoria, and Louise 'Luli' Xenia Rose. Lord Ivar and Penny Thompson remained a couple for seventeen years before separating in 2010, and eventually having an amiable divorce in 2011.

Five years after his divorce to Penny, Lord Ivar Mountbatten revealed he was in a relationship with another man, James Coyle, an airline cabin services director. The couple met while they were both on a ski holiday in Verbier, in March 2016. He chose to come out during an interview with the Mail on Sunday, saying:

I am a lot happier now, though I am still not 100% comfortable with being gay.
Being a Mountbatten was never the problem, 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.

He also revealed that he had some difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality, but he chose to speak about it publicly, thus becoming the first member of the Firm to do so. He explained:

Coming out is such a funny phrase but it’s what I suppose I did in a rather roundabout way, emerging to a place I’m happy to be. I have struggled with my sexuality and in some ways I still do; it has been a real journey to reach this point.

Although he came out as a gay man, Lord Ivar Mountbatten explained he still needs to adjust to living his love life freely, as he has never loved another man before.

Simply talking about it in public is a huge step for me. Up to this point, I have had a heterosexual lifestyle, so living with a man is really new. One step at a time.

His ex-wife was his best man during his wedding to James

Fortunately for Lord Ivar Mountbatten, his closest family has been a constant support throughout his journey to being his true self. His three daughters accepted James Coyle into the family instantly, as the father-of-three said:

I think they like having another man in the house. Better than a stepmother who could have turned out to be a step-monster.

James Coyle also told Tatler that he always felt a certain sadness about not having children as a gay man. Now, he has got three step-daughters, and they all seem to get along. He said:

So this is the icing on the cake. I’ve got a husband and a ready-made family.

In fact, his ex-wife now goes to yoga classes with his boyfriend, James. Penny was also the couple's best man at their wedding ceremony in 2018. James told the Mail on Sunday:

I went to a village yoga class with Penny and people thought I was her new boyfriend. She had to tell them: no, he’s Ivar’s, not mine.

Ivar is not the first queer person in the Mountbatten family

In the 1930s, a trial shook the United Kingdom. Indeed, a maid was accusing Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt of having a lesbian affair with Nadejda Mountbatten, known as Nada, the Marchioness of Milford Haven, who so happens to be Lord Ivar Mountbatten's grandmother. This accusation was used in a trial, as Gloria Vanderbilt's child was taken from her and custody was granted fully to the father. In an exclusive interview with Tatler, in June 2022, Lord Ivar Mountbatten was asked to give his opinion on the affair. He stated:

The older generation of my family have seen and done it all before. They were quite wayward in the 1940s. My aunt Nada was a lesbian. You’ve got to try everything once, that’s what my mother always said.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten is set to appear on The Traitors US

Lord Ivar Mountbatten has spent most of his life in privacy, but that's soon about to change. In fact, he is en route to becoming a reality TV star. Indeed, the new cast of the third season of The Traitors UShas been announced, and it is star-studded.

Among other celebrities such as Zac Efron's brother, Dylan Efron, and Selling Sunset's star estate agent Chrishell Stause, fans were surprised to see King Charles' cousin on the list! Watchers are excited to find out if Lord Ivar Mountbatten is a traitor, or a faithful.

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Sources used:

Tatler: Meet the trailblazing Royal newlyweds Lord Ivar Mountbatten and James Coyle at home

Mail on Sunday: I'm gay, says the Queen's cousin - but I'm not 100% comfortable: Royal who is godfather to Prince Edward's eldest child introduces the new man in his life (who does yoga with his ex-wife!)

People: King Charles' Cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten Joins The Traitors: Meet the Gay Royal Family Member Turned Reality Star

I'm a Celeb: This Royal Family member will be the first ever to star on the show I'm a Celeb: This Royal Family member will be the first ever to star on the show