The royal family revealed its first same-sex wedding in a touching announcement.
Illustration by Tatiana Cardenas/Upworthy.

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, is set to marry his partner James Coyle this summer.

It will be the first official same-sex marriage for the royal family and is joyfully being celebrated as a historic moment.

Ivar and James aren't planning a large wedding but instead are looking into a more intimate affair with about 100 family members and friends. But that's a reflection of their own desire for intimacy as opposed to any tension within the family or amongst friends.


“All my good friends have accepted James,” Mountbatten said. “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.’”

Mountbatten first came out in 2016 and has three daughters from his previous marriage. His ex-wife Penny is planning to give him away at the ceremony, an idea that came from their daughters. “It makes me feel quite emotional," she said. "I’m really very touched."

The wedding is just the latest example of progress from the socially and civic-minded royals.

Millions around the world tuned in to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May. It was a beautiful display of blending cultures that was widely celebrated.

And now, the duke and duchess of Sussex are preparing for their first international trip, where they will visit Ireland, a nation with a complicated and turbulent history with England.

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

While largely staying out of politics, Prince William and Prince Harry have dedicated much of their lives to public service.

Queen Elizabeth herself reportedly has maintained a progressive stand on marriage equality. Though she rarely comments on politics or national debates, the royal family did push back in 2016 when a rumor surfaced that she was personally opposed to England legalizing marriage equality.

The monarchy may be antiquated in some respects, but they still have significant influence.

The royal family is a powerful symbol of British culture. Celebrations like this are important milestones of inclusion that are fun and can have a positive effect throughout the world.

Seeing the announcement of their first same-sex marriage welcomed with open arms is exciting and reassuring. Weddings are a time to be happy and that's even more so when all are welcome.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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