Most couples take pride in themselves for having come out of seclusion while their relationship is still intact, but the Queen’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten and his husband James have more reasons than most to congratulate themselves.
The couple have lived with Lord Ivar’s three adult daughters, Ella, 23, Alix, 22, and 17-year-old Luli, as well as his ex-wife Penny, for the past three months.
Lord Ivar, 64, revealed in mid-March that his ex-wife had ‘installed herself in her old bedroom’ in Bridwell Park, the Grade II listed Devon mansion she once called home and where he now lives with James.
Three times more fun: Lord Ivar Mountbatten locked up with his husband James and ex-wife Penny at his home in Bridwell Park, Devon. Last week Ivar shared this photo of James (left) and Penny at their ’91st dinner’ since the start of the lockdown
Family fun: Ivar (center) with Penny (second from left), James (right) and his three daughters, Ella, 23, Alix, 22, and 17-year-old Luli, who he shares with his ex-wife. The family celebrated Alix’s 22nd birthday last month with a drink in the garden
Instagram photos shared in the following weeks show how the family spent the days having drinks in the garden and bonfires by the lake, without a trace of line in sight.
In one photo, Penny had cheekily jumped into Ivar’s bed with her daughters, prompting Ivar to joke, “James won’t be impressed to see the first husband in his place!”
Just last week, Lord Ivar, who is family to both the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh through his father, David Mountbatten, the third Marquess of Milford Haven, revealed that he, James and Penny had celebrated their ’91st lockdown dinner’ together. .
The photo shows Penny and James sitting on either side of a beautifully set garden table, with the seat in between left free for Lord Ivar.
Enough to laugh about! Ivar (right) and James (left) in a photo taken during the lock
Going Back: Lord Ivar shared this photo in mid-March to reveal that his ex-wife had installed ‘herself in her old bedroom’ at Bridwell Park, the Grade II listed manor in Devon she once called home and where he now lives with James
The caption jokingly asked, “Which of the three of us deserve a medal?” but the easy smile on Penny and James’ faces suggests that they had both enjoyed each other’s company before.
While this unconventional setup may be hard to imagine for many divorced couples, Lord Ivar and Penny have often talked about how they have maintained a close friendship in the decade since their 17-year marriage ended.
Penny and Ivar married in 1994 at an ecclesiastical ceremony attended by Princess Margaret and Prince Edward, the godfather of their eldest daughter, Ella. His wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is godmother to their middle daughter Alix.
The couple raised their children in Bridwell Park until their divorce in 2010. Their divorce was finalized in 2011.
Three in one bed! In one photo, Penny had cheekily jumped into Ivar’s bed with her daughters, prompting Ivar to joke, “James won’t be impressed to see the first husband in his place!”
Three years later, Ivar met James, a director of a cabin cabin in Glasgow. They clicked immediately, and he was introduced to family members three weeks later, although Ivar later revealed that his daughters did not know at the time that he was a potential admirer.
Ivar, who became the first member of the royal family to come out as gay, married James to 60 family and friends in his private chapel in Bridwell Park – celebrating with a lavish reception in the orangery.
In a vote of support, Penny gave away her ex-husband.
Ivar told The Times last month that Penny and James developed their own ‘incredible’ relationship independently of him and said, ‘When Penny lived nearby I knew if I couldn’t find James he would have a cup of coffee with her drinking, whining about me. ‘
Royal Relationships: Ivar was married to Penny for 17 years, and the couple attended royal events such as Trooping the Color (photo, Penny and James on the balcony with the Marquess of Milford Haven and wife Claire Milford at the June 2005 event)
The family tree of Ivar Mountbatten showing that he is the son of David Mountbatten, the third Marquis