- Throughout history, many royals have been members of the LGBTQ community.
- Manvendra Singh Gohil became the first openly gay prince in the world when he came out in 2006.
- Queen Elizabeth's cousin Lord Ivar Mountbatten came out as gay in September 2016.
Princess Isabella of Parma, who lived between 1741 and 1763, never confirmed that she was bisexual, and even married Archduke Joseph of Austria in 1760. However, speculation remains about the royal's sexuality and whether she had a romantic relationship with her husband's sister, Archduchess Maria Christina.
The pair exchanged hundreds of letters over the years, with many of them extremely affectionate in nature.
"I am told that the day begins with God," Princess Isabella wrote in one letter. "I, however, begin the day by thinking of the object of my love, for I think of her incessantly."
Unfortunately, Princess Isabella's life was cut short after she died during childbirth at the age of 21.
The younger brother of King Louis XIV, Philippe I was negatively described by the seventeenth-century memoirist Saint-Simon as effeminate and "always adorned like a woman." While the terms gay, queer, or even bisexual were rarely directly used to describe the royal, his relationships with men were well-documented.
According to Retrospect Journal, the courtier Madame de Lafayette wrote in her memoire that no woman could ever "enflame [Philippe's] heart." It is also widely accepted that Philippe I had a number of queer relationships, most notably with the Chevalier de Lorraine, to which his brother turned a blind eye to.
Philippe did marry twice in his life. His first wife, Princess Henrietta of England, died of peritonitis caused by a perforated ulcer, though an investigation conducted by Saint-Simon alleged that the Chevalier de Lorraine and the Marquis d'Effiat, another of Philippe's supposed lovers, had poisoned her.
Philippe later married Princess Palatine Elizabeth Charlotte, who slept in separate bedchambers and was generally forgiving of what she called "the Italian vice," a colloquial term for homosexuality in that era. Philippe died in 1701.
King Umberto II reigned for only 34 days, from May 9, 1946, until June 12, 1946, after the fall of Mussolini. Shortly after he took the throne following the abdication of his father King Victor Emmanuel III, Umberto was outed in the press as homosexual. The Italian public then voted to abolish the monarchy.
Umberto divorced from his wife, whom he shared four children with, in 1946 and lived the remainder of his life in exile. He passed away in Geneva at 78 years old.
The couple separated in 1973 and divorced a decade later after 20 years of marriage. After they separated, von Furstenberg told New York Magazine that he and Diane had experimented with another woman during their marriage, but she had a distaste for it.
According to World of Wonder, he also told an Italian newspaper that gay clubs like the Flamingo were among his favorite places to spend time and frequently partied on Fire Island, a known location for the LGBTQ+ community to come together. However, despite his apparent openness about his sexuality, he married another woman, Lynn Marshall, in 1983.
The royal died in Rome at the age of 57 in 2004, leaving behind his wife, ex-wife Diane von Furstenberg, and their two children.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, who is related to both Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip, married his partner James Coyle in 2018 two years after coming out publicly as gay.
Mountbatten was previously married to Penny Mountbatten, a British philanthropist, from 1994 until 2011. She has since come out in support of her husband, and even gave him away at his wedding to Coyle. The former couple's three daughters also came up with the idea.
"Ivar is so much more relaxed these days," Penny told the Daily Mail in 2018. "He's so much kinder. He's become a great cook. I now call him Fanny Cradock. 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."
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil publicly came out in an interview to a local newspaper in 2006, becoming the first openly gay royal in the country. He was 41 at the time.
Until 2018, homosexuality was illegal in India under a colonial era law that demanded up to life imprisonment for anyone committing sexual acts "against the order of nature."
"The day I came out, my effigies were burnt. There were a lot of protests, people took to the streets and shouted slogans saying that I brought shame and humiliation to the royal family and to the culture of India. There were death-threats and demands that I be stripped off of my title," Gohil told Insider in April 2022.
Gohil also explained that in the years before he came out publicly, he had been subject to cruel conversion therapy and electroshock treatments by his family.
Today, Gohil is fighting to outlaw gay conversion therapy in India and fight the stigma against the LGBTQ community in the country.
"Now we have to fight for issues like same-sex marriage, right to inheritance, right to adoption. It's a never-ending cycle. I have to keep fighting," he said.