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Lord Ivar Mountbatten

Lord Ivar Alexander Michael Mountbatten, DL was born on 9th March 1963 at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, the youngest son of  David Michael Mountbatten, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven (1919-1970) and Miss Janet Mercedes Bryce (b.1937).  As a direct descendant of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901), he is in the line of succession to the British Throne and is a third cousin once removed to Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-2022) and he is also a first cousin once removed to Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021).  Like his elder brother - George, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven (b.1961) and many of his Mountbatten relations, Ivar was educated at Gordonstoun School and he subsequently graduated with a degree in geology from Middlebury College, Vermont, New Hampshire, USA.

Ivar lived with his brother and sister-in-law at Moyns Park - an Elizabethan mansion near Birdbrook, Essex.  The estate was left equally to Ivar and his brother by the widow of their mother's cousin - John Charles Felix 'Ivar' Bryce (1906-1985), who died in 1992 and quickly became a financial burden on them.  George decided to sell his share to his brother following his own financial problems and said later - "It was like putting three or four grand a week into a bucket and dropping it down a well, and all because of the aristocracy's obsession with keeping their estates going for the next generation. I kept it up for seven years. It virtually ruined me."   Ivar was working as a ­mining consultant in Venezuela, South America for seven years before returning in 1993 to take over the ­management of Moyns Park but he was eventually forced to sell in 1997.

On 23rd April 1994, Ivar married at the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Clare, Suffolk - Miss Penelope Anne Vere Thompson (b.1966), the daughter of Colin Graham Thompson (b.1948) and was attended by Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002) and his close friend Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex (b.1964).  Penelope wore a family tiara, which belonged to his great-grandmother - Countess Sophie of Mernberg, Countess de Torby (1868-1927), the morganatic wife of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (1861-1929).  Their wedding reception was one of the last family events at their former home of Moyns Park.


Ivar and Penelope had 3 children - 

  • Miss Ella Louise Georgina Mountbatten, born 20th March 1996 at Rosie Maternity Hospital, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire - a god-daughter of Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex (b.1964)

  • Miss Alexandra 'Alix' Nada Victoria Mountbatten, born 8th May 1998 at Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Devon - a god-daughter of Sophie, Countess of Wessex (b.1965)

  • Miss Louise 'Luli' Xenia Rose Mountbatten, born 30th July 2002 at Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Devon

 Ivar & Penelope with their children in 2005

Lord Ivar & Penelope with their three children in 2005

Ivar & Penelope on their wedding day ​

Lord Ivar & Penelope

following their wedding

in April 1994

The family tiara worn by Penelope at her wedding to Ivar

The Torby/Milford Haven tiara - 

commissioned in 1891

by Grand Duke Michael

Mikhailovich of Russia

for his morganatic marriage to

Countess Sophie of Mernberg 

In 1997, Ivar and his family moved into Bridwell Park, Uffculme, near Tiverton, Devon - a classic Georgian house built for Richard Hall Clarke in early Regency style between 1774-1779, set in over 100 acres with views across the Culm Valley.  In 1991, the house was devasted by fire, but has been restored to its original glory of a Grade 1 listed property. The house is now a successful wedding, conference and corporate events centre.

Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Devon​

Bridwell Park, Uffculme, near Tiverton, Devon

In August 2009, Ivar was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) for the County of Devon, by Sir Eric Dancer (b.1940), the then Lord Lieutenant (the Queen's representative for the County). 

Ivar and Penelope separated in September 2010 and divorced in November 2011.  In September 2016, Ivar announced that he was in a relationship with James Coyle (b.1962), an airline cabin services director, who he met (by accident) in the Farinet bar in Verbier, Switzerland in 2015.  He said - "I never thought I would get married because I didn't want to be untruthful. Penny was aware before we got married. I told her I was bisexual, that my attraction went both ways. She was understanding and I will always be grateful to her. We had a lot of fun, we have three fabulous daughters and I don't regret any stage of my life."  He also commented - "In an ideal world, I know the girls would like their mother and father still to be together, but they love their 21st Century family that we have built too. Their father has a boyfriend. It's that complicated and that simple, but finding James means I will not have to lie to anyone or grow old on my own."


Lord Ivar & James on their wedding day ​

Lord Ivar & James Coyle

following their 2018 wedding

Ivar and James were married in the private chapel at Bridwell Park on 22nd September 2018, in a small private ceremony.  Penelope 'gave away' Ivar, at the suggestion of their daughters.  They all remain on good terms.  James said - "It’s a very modern marriage. There was no proposal, just an acceptance of this great love. He cares. I care. The girls are very accepting."  Ivar said on the day of his marriage - "most importantly a massive thanks to my 3 gorgeous girls for being so understanding and supportive, without their support this could never have happened!  And finally the biggest thank you to James for being just perfect."   Ivar's second marriage is the first same-sex marriage within either the Royal Family or the extended Royal Family.


A united family - Lord Ivar & James Coyle following their 2018 wedding

with his children and former wife.

(left to right) Ella; Alix (Alexandra); James; Lord Ivar,

Penelope (Lady Ivar Mountbatten) & Luli (Louise)

James & Lord Ivar and Rosie the dog

James & Lord Ivar, with Rosie the dog

Ivar and James have in recent times have appeared in several TV programmes - such as "The Queen and Her Cousins with Alexander Armstrong" (broadcast in May 2021 by ITV to celebrate the 95th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-2022) with Alexander 'Xander' Armstrong (b.1970) and "Keeping Up with the Aristocracy" (broadcast in January 2022). and their social media profiles have become very popular.

Chamberlain- Mountbatten-Coyle.jpg

Portraits of Lord Ivar and James completed in 2022

by artist Alex Chamberlin

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