It’s a first in British royal history!
Ivar, who came out in 2016, years after he and his ex-wife Penny divorced, told the Daily Mail that while he didn’t feel like he needed to get married “because I’ve been there, done that, and have my wonderful children,” he said he “really wanted to do it for James.”
“James hasn’t had the stable life I have,” he continued. Turning to his husband-to-be, he added, “I want to be able to give you that.”
While describing their engagement, James told the publication “it’s a very modern marriage,” explaining that “there was no proposal, just an acceptance of this great love.”
In fact, in an extra-special modern twist, Penny will be the one to give her her ex-husband away — an idea she says their three daughters — Ella, 22, Alix, 20, and Luli, 15 — came up with.
“It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched,” she said, adding that while her role in the wedding might strike some as odd, she and James “have got on from the first 10 seconds of meeting each other.”
“Ivar is so much more relaxed these days. He’s so much kinder,” she shared with the Daily Mail. “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.”
James also remarked that unlike a more traditional royal wedding, “the ceremony itself will be very small. It’s really just for the girls and close family and friends.”
“We went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago and said, ‘We’re not doing that. We’re not cutting cakes. We’re not having a first dance,'” he continued.
While the pair will be inviting “about 120 friends” to the “party afterwards” — where they’ll have plenty of “lovely food and really good music” — James insisted that “there won’t be two men in tuxedos on a cake, white doves or anything twee or contrived like that.”
Agreeing, Ivar added, “We’ll probably have cheese, instead of cake.”
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Ivar also told the Daily Mail that while his relative and close friend Prince Edward, who is the Queen’s third son, won’t be able to come to the wedding, both he and his wife Sophie “adore James.”
“All my good friends have accepted James,” he added. “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.’ “
Opening up about his past, Ivar told the outlet that while he was honest about his sexuality with his wife before they were married, he said that growing up, “I could never tell my parents I was gay.”
“Where I grew up, gay men were called poofs, queers, everything derogatory under the sun,” he told the Daily Mail, adding that even now “having a bloke around is unusual.”
Continuing, he said, “I never thought this would happen. It’s brilliant, but I never thought I’d marry a man.”