THE ROYAL HOUSE OF GEORGIA
The Crown Prince
THE CROWN PRINCE
With the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Georgian Kingdom found itself in a difficult position. The last king of united Georgia, King Giorgi VIII (1446 - 1466), was diligent in uniting the east Georgian Kingdom (with the bloodline of King David Ulu on his father’s side) and the west Georgian Kingdom (with the bloodline of King David Narini on his mother’s side), which was particularly important for the legitimization of the Royal branch of the united Georgia.
During the rule of Giorgi VIII as king of united Georgia, the Ottomans fractured the coalition between Georgia and the rest of Europe. This led to the break of the united Georgian Kingdom into three provincial kingdoms: Kakheti, Kartli, and Imereti. In 1466, King Giorgi VIII was forced to move to Kakheti, where he established the independent Kakheti kingdom. Although he continued to fight for the restored unification of the country under his crown, the prevailing politics of the region at this point in history did not permit this.
In the following centuries, many of King Giorgi VIII’s direct descendants, the representatives of the Kakhetian Royal branch, continued with this struggle for political unification. Some of them were successful, such as King Teimuraz I (1605-1648). In 1625, he united two kingdoms and became the king of the united Kartli-Kakheti Kingdom. Unfortunately, in 1648, the Iranians abolished this important unification when they invaded Georgia. King Erekle I, the grandson of King Teimuraz I, who reigned over Kartli between 1688 and 1703, tried to unite the two kingdoms again. Yet he was unsuccessful as Iran prevented restoration. Further efforts at unification were sought by the representatives of the Kakhetian Royal branch. For example, King Alexander III, who ruled in Kartli between 1735 and 1737, sought unification. So did his successor, King Teimuraz II, who became the King of Kartli in 1744. But it was his son, Erekle II of Kakheti, who finally succeeded in uniting the two kingdoms after his father died in 1762. Thereby, Erekle II became the king of the united kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti (Georgia).
The year 1790 was marked by the so-called “Treaty of the Iberians”, whereby King Erekle II was recognized as the sovereign of all Georgians: “the father of them all”. The treaty was signed by the Patriarch of Georgia, the Imeretian King Solomon II, Grigol Dadiani (Prince of Mengrelia), and Simon Gurieli (Prince of Guria). The status of King Erekle II was later inherited by his son, Giorgi XII, who was the last King of Georgia.
In 1801, the Russian Emperor tragically abolished the Georgian monarchy, but the titles and honours of the heirs to the throne were still recognized and retained by the descendants of King Erekle II and Giorgi XII. During this time, in 1801, the Georgian royal family (the ancestors of HRH Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski) found itself exiled by the Russian Empire. No one from the other Bagration lines (the Bagrationi-Mukhranski, the Bagrationi-Davitishvili, and the Bagrationi-Babadishi lines) was exiled to Russia because these other lines were merely high nobles with no right or claim to the throne of Georgia.
In the early years of the 19th century, Imperial Russia decreed that only the sons and daughters of the Georgian King were allowed to enjoy the titles of “Georgian princes and princesses” (literally Gruzinski, which means “of Georgia”). This was meant to distinguish such princes and princesses from the other Bagrationi nobility. For this reason, only the Royal family today bears the name Bagrationi-Gruzinski. In 1833, Imperial Russia also decreed that only the grandsons of King Erekle II and King Giorgi XII must be accorded the title of "Georgian prince" (Gruzinski); this became the surname of these descendants. In 1865, the Russian Emperor Alexander II granted all the representatives of this Royal branch (the ancestors of HRH Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski) the style of “Most Respectful”. This family, from which HRH Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski descends, was royal and considered equal with the other royal families in Europe. Some very prominent high nobles in Russia considered the Royal family of Georgia to be merely one step below the prestige of the Russian Imperial House itself.
Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski is the son of HRH Prince Peter Bagrationi-Gruzinski of Georgia (1920–1984), who was a prominent poet and the former Head of the Royal House of Georgia between 1939 and 1984. His grandfather, HRH Prince Alexander (1820-1865), was the son of HRH Prince Bagrat, the fourth son of King Giorgi XII of Georgia. Prince Peter’s life was full of tragedy, as he was forced to live in Soviet Russia. The Soviets knew that he was the rightful heir to the Georgian throne, and they did not want the political risk of native Georgians supporting the restoration of an independent Georgian kingdom. Despite imprisonment, Prince Peter continued to express his inner protest against the Soviet political regime through his poetry. He was part of the underground youth organization that secretly had been publishing anti-communist literature. One of his published poetry lyrics led to his arrest in 1946, and he was sentenced to the death penalty. Within this poem, the poet openly refers to his Royal descent and being the direct descendant of the great King Erekle II. Luckily, Prince Peter miraculously survived this punishment. In time, he became quite famous for his lyrics and Georgian songs. When the “Poet” Prince Peter (II) died in 1984, the headship of the Royal House of Georgia passed onto his son Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski, who currently is the director of the Tbilisi theatre of cinema artists.
HRH Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski is the rightful lineal successor of the last kings of united Georgia, the rightful successor of the last kings of the kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, and the senior descendant by primogeniture in the male line of Giorgi XII. In 2006, the former head of the Imereti Royal House, HRH Princess Nino Bagration-Imeretinski (1915-2008), signed an important memorandum where she, on behalf of the Imereti royal branch, recognized the rightful claim and sovereignty of the Bagrationi-Gruzinski family over the rest of the Bagrationi lines.
HRH Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski is married to Princess Leila Kipiani, who was born in Tbilisi on 16 July of 1947. They married on 10 February of 1971. The Crown Prince and Princess have two daughters: Princess Anna (born 1976) and Princess Maia (born 1978). Princess Leila descends from one of the western high noble families of Georgia.
Like his father, HRH Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski also experienced hardships during the Soviet regime. For example, when his theatre company had overseas commitments, the Prince was always denied a visa by the Soviet government. The Soviets were concerned that allowing the Prince to go abroad could allow him to claim his legitimate rights. Despite this hardship, Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski continued to stage various performances, even in challenging circumstances. Today, he is actively involved in the teaching and training of drama. Additionally, he is involved in directing various stage performances. This is in addition to his obligations as Head of the Royal House of Georgia.
On 18 December of 2007, Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski met Kristiina Ojuland, the Vice-President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia). Ms. Ojuland paid homage to the Bagrationi dynasty and its extraordinary contribution to Georgia.
On 23 February of 2010, Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski participated in a national conference with several high ministers of the Republic of Georgia and distinguished scientists. Within this conference, Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski was rightfully introduced “as the successor to the Georgian throne”. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of the world community’s legal evaluation of crimes committed against the Georgian people.
On 21 May of 2010, a conference on the Circassian tragedy was held in Tbilisi. Within this, an intellectual work entitled “Pages of the History of the 19th century Caucasus” was presented. The event was organized by the “Fund of Caucasus” and attended by various members of the Georgian Parliament, important guests, and famous scholars. Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski had a prominent role in addressing the audience with words of salutation.
With a sense of responsibility towards his country, Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski tries to compensate for the deterioration of the country during the Soviet era and also during the troubled years of the civil war. Unfortunately, many Georgian people still live in difficult conditions. To improve the situation of such people, Crown Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski works with various donor organizations to implement charitable solutions for the Georgian people.
THE DIRECT ANCESTORS OF HRH CROWN PRINCE NUGZAR BAGRATIONI-GRUZINSKI
King of United Georgia (1790 – 1798)
Heraclius II, or Erekle II (Georgian: ერეკლე II) (November 7, 1720, or October 7, 1721 [according to C. Toumanoff– January 11, 1798) was a Georgian monarch of the Bagrationi Dynasty, reigning as the king of Kakheti from 1744 to 1762, and of Kartli and Kakheti from 1762 until 1798. In the contemporary Persian sources he is referred to as Erekli Khan (ارکلی خان), while Russians knew him as Iraklij (Ираклий). His name is frequently transliterated in a Latinized form Heraclius because both names Erekle and Irakli are Georgian versions of this Greek name.
Born in Telavi, the center of Kakheti region of Georgia, Heraclius was a son Teimuraz II of Kakheti and his wife Tamar, daughter of Vakhtang VI of Kartli. His childhood and early teens coincided with the occupation of Kakheti by the Ottomans from 1732 until 1735 when they were ousted from Georgia by Nader, Shah of Iran, in his two successive campaigns of 1734 and 1735. Teimuraz sided with the Persians and was installed as a Persian wali (governor) in neighboring Kartli. However, many Georgian nobles refused to accept the new regime and rose in rebellion in response to heavy tribute levied by Nadir upon the Georgian provinces.
The penultimate king of the united kingdoms of Kakheti and Kartli in eastern Georgia, his reign is regarded as the swan song of the Georgian monarchy. Aided by his personal abilities and the unrest in the Persian Empire, Heraclius established himself as a de facto independent ruler and attempted to modernize the government, economics, and military. Overwhelmed by the internal and external menaces to Georgia’s precarious independence and its temporary hegemony in eastern Transcaucasia, he placed his kingdom under the formal Russian protection in 1783, but the move did not prevent Georgia from being devastated by the Persian invasion in 1795. Heraclius died in 1798, leaving the throne to his moribund heir, George XII.
King of United Kingdom of Kartli & Kakheti (The Last King of Georgia) (1798-1800)
George XII (Georgian: გიორგი XII, Giorgi XII), sometimes known as George XIII (November 10, 1746 – December 28, 1800), of the House of Bagrationi, was the last king of Georgia (Kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti) from 1798 until his death in 1800. His brief reign in the closing years of the 18th century was marked by significant political instability which implied the near certainty of a civil strife and a Persian invasion. Overwhelmed by the problems in his realm, George renewed a request of protection from Tsar Paul I of Russia. After his death, the Kingdom of Georgia was abolished and absorbed by Imperial Russia, and the royal family was deported from Georgia.
George was born to Heraclius II (Erekle), then the king of Kakheti, and later also of Kartli, and his second wife Anna Abashidze. George was recognized, c. 1766, by his father as Crown Prince-batonishvili, and appointed the lord of Pambak and Lori (now in Armenia). In 1770, he took part in Heraclius’ militarily successful, but ultimately fruitless expedition against the Ottoman garrisons in southern Georgia. In 1777, George, together with his half-brother, Prince Levan, campaigned against the defiant eristavi ("duke") of the Ksani and subdued his domain to the royal crown.
George ascended the Georgian throne upon his father’s death on January 12, 1798, being recognized by Tsar Paul on February 22, 1799 and crowned at the Anchiskhati Church in Tiflis on December 5, 1799. His capital, Tiflis, still lay largely in ruins and the country was suffering after-effects of the Persian invasion of 1795 which was a response to Heraclius' rapprochement with Imperial Russia (The Treaty of Georgievsk of 1783) and his refusal to submit to the Persian authority.
Georgian Prince (heir and successor to the throne)(Batonishvili/Tsarevich (1776-1841)
Bagrat (Georgian: ბაგრატი) (May 8, 1776 – May 8, 1841) was a Georgian prince (batonishvili) of the House of Bagrationi and an author. A son of King George XII of Georgia, Bagrat occupied important administrative posts in the last years of the Georgian monarchy, after whose abolition by the Russian Empire in 1801 he entered the imperial civil service. He was known in Russia as the tsarevich Bagrat Georgievich Gruzinsky (Russian: Баграт Георгиевич Грузи́нский). He is the author of works in the history of Georgia, veterinary medicine and economics. Bagrat is the forefather of the surviving descendants of the last kings of Georgia.
Georgian Prince (heir and successor to the throne)(Batonishvili/Tsarevich)
Aleksandre Bagratis dze Bagrationi Gruzinsky (Georgian: ალექსანდრე ბაგრატის ძე ბაგრატიონ გრუზინსკი) (born in 1820) was a Georgian prince (batonishvili), a descendant of the Kakhetian branch (Gruzinsky) of the Bagrationi dynasty, a former royal house of Georgia. Alexander was son of Prince Bagrat of Georgia, the 4th son of king George XII of Georgia.
Georgian Prince (heir and successor to the throne)(Batonishvili/Tsarevich) (1857-1922)
Petre Aleksandres dze Bagrationi Gruzinsky (Georgian: პეტრე ალექსანდრეს ძე ბაგრატიონ გრუზინსკი) (26 April 1857–3 February 1922) was a Georgian prince (batonishvili), a descendant of the Kakhetian branch (Gruzinsky) of the Bagrationi dynasty, a former royal house of Georgia. Petre was son of Prince Alexander Bagration-Gruzinsky.
Prince Petre married Tamar Dekanozishvili (1897–1977) and had son:
- Petre Gruzinsky (March 28, 1920 – August 13, 1984).
Georgian Prince (heir and successor to the throne)(Batonishvili/Tsarevich) (1920-1984)
Prince Petre Petres dze Bagrationi Gruzinsky (Georgian: პეტრე პეტრეს ძე ბაგრატიონ გრუზინსკი) (March 28, 1920 – August 13, 1984) was a Georgian prince (batonishvili), poet and an Honored Artist of the Georgian SSR (1979). Son of Prince Petre Bagration-Gruzinsky.
Gruzinsky was a descendant of the Kakhetian branch (Gruzinsky) of the Bagrationi Dynasty, a former royal house of Georgia. His grandfather Alexander Bagration-Gruzinsky was son of Prince Bagrat of Georgia, the 4th son of king George XII of Georgia. Gruzinsky gained particular popularity as an author of lyrics for the songs by Giorgi Tsabadze and Giya Kancheli, including those for the cult Soviet comedy Mimino (1977).
Petre Gruzinsky was married twice.
He married Ketevan Siradze (born April 9, 1915) in 1939 and had one daughter:
- Dali Bagration-Gruzinsky (born 1939)
In 1944, Gruzinsky married his second wife, Lia Mgeladze (born August 19, 1925, Manglisi), daughter of Dimitri Mgeladze (1889–1979), the literary scholar and former member of the government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
They had two children:
- Mzia Bagration-Gruzinsky (born 1945)
- Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky (born 1950). Prince Nugzar is a current claimant to the headship of the royal house of Georgia.
He is buried in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Nugzar of Georgia
Heir and successor to the Throne of Georgia. (Batonishvili/Tsarevich.
Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky (Georgian: ბატონიშვილი ნუგზარი), born August 25, 1950, in Tbilisi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, is the head of the deposed royal House of Gruzinsky and represents its claim to the former crown of Georgia.
Prince Nugzar is the son of Prince Petre Bagration-Gruzinsky of Georgia (1920–1984), a prominent poet and claimant to the headship of the Georgian dynasty from 1939 until his death, and his second wife Liya Mgeladze (b. 8 August 1926). Prince Nugzar is the director of the Tbilisi theatre of cinema artists.
On 18 December 2007, Nugzar met with Kristiina Ojuland, the Vice-President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) at the Mariott-Tbilisi Hotel in which Ojuland "paid homage to the Bagrationi dynasty, which has made an extraordinary contribution in support of Georgia".
Prince Nugzar is the senior descendant by primogeniture in the male line of George XII, the last King of Georgia (Kartli and Kakheti) to reign.
Nugzar married actress Leila Kipiani (b. Tbilisi July 16, 1947) on February 10, 1971, and they have two daughters:
- HRH Princess Anna Bagration-Gruzinsky, b. Tbilisi November 1, 1976. Married firstly to Grigoriy Malania and had two daughters with him, Irina and Miriam, and secondly, to Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani with whom she has a son, Prince Giorgi Bagrationi (born 2011)
- HRH Princess Maia Bagration-Gruzinsky, b. Tbilisi January 2, 1978. She married Nikolai Chichinadze and has two children with him, Themour and Anna Chichinadze.
As Nugzar has no male issue, Evgeny Petrovich Gruzinsky (born 1947), the great-great grandson of Bagrat's younger brother Ilia (1791–1854), who lives in the Russian Federation, is considered to be an heir presumptive within primogeniture principle. Nugzar himself argues in favor of having his eldest daughter, Anna, designated as his heir in accordance with the Georgian dynastic law of "Zedsidzeoba" by which every child born from Princess Anna will inherit the royal dignity from mother's side thus will continue the royal line.
Nugzar's daughter, Princess Anna, a divorced teacher and journalist with two daughters, married Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani, on 8 February 2009 at the Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral. The marriage united the Gruzinsky and Mukhrani branches of the Georgian royal family, and drew a crowd of 3,000 spectators, officials, and foreign diplomats, as well as extensive coverage by the Georgian media.
The dynastic significance of the wedding lay in the fact that, amidst the turmoil in political partisanship that has roiled Georgia since its independence in 1991, Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia publicly called for restoration of the monarchy as a path toward national unity in October 2007. Although this led some politicians and parties to entertain the notion of a Georgian constitutional monarchy, competition arose among the old dynasty's princes and supporters, as historians and jurists debated which Bagrationi has the strongest hereditary right to a throne that has been vacant for two centuries.
Prince Giorgi, the son of prince David and HRH Princess Anna of Georgia, was born on September 27, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. Currently Nugzar does not officially recognize his grandson as heir to the Georgian throne. He continues to demand that David sign a written agreement in which he would recognize Nugzar and the Gruzinsky branch as the sole rightful heir to the Georgian throne and to the legacy of the Georgian kings.
Prince Giorgi's royal christening was held on 3 November 2013 by Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. His godfathers are the patriarch himself (due to as the boy is being the third child of HRH Princess Anna and by the will of the Patriarch every third child in Georgia becomes godchild of His Holiness. Almost up to 10.000 new born children in Georgia already are as godchildren of Patriarch), his uncles Irakli and Ugo, Levan Vasadze, said to be closely associated with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the new President Giorgi Margvelashvili, and Mikheil Akhvlediani, the honorary consul of Spain and seneschal , Government ministers Irakli Alasania and Nodar Khaduri were also present in the ceremony as well as guests from Russia, Serbia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, United States and Romania.
Prince Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky after the christening of his grandson said:
"Prince Giorgi is the direct descendant of the last king of united Georgia, George VIII of Georgia and the last king of Kartli-Kakheti George XII of Georgia through his mother's side and we have a big hope that he will get the royal dignity from his mother in the future"
HH the Patriarch at first said that the child is a heir from her royal mother as of Kings Erekle II and Giorgi XII and only then he mentioned that from fathers side he is Prince Mukhranbatoni:
"Today is a happy day, today is a historical day. Prince Giorgi was christened in this Holy Temple, where are his ancestors. Such royal christening has not been since 1801 and thanks to the Lord, the Lord gave the power to his people for this".
"Congratulations to everyone, today is a historic day. Our hearts are full of joy, our nation, our country celebrates the restoration of its statehood, restoration of the autocephaly of our church and now we have a solid foundation for the restoration of a constitutional monarchy"
Heir: HRH Princess Anna Bagrationi-Gruzinski
daughter of HRH Crown Prince Nuzgar of Georgia
HRH Anna Nugzaris Asuli Bagration-Gruzinsky (Georgian: ანა ნუგზარის ასული ბაგრატიონი გრუზინსკი) (born November 1, 1976, in Tbilisi) is a royal princess of the Gruzinsky branch of the Bagrationi dynasty of Georgia.
HRH Princess Anna is the eldest child of the head of the Gruzinsky branch of the House of Bagrationi, Prince Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky, spouse of Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani and mother of Prince Giorgi Bagration (born 2011).
Princess Anna first married to Grigol Malania, who descends matrilineally from the last king George XII of Georgia, and has two daughters by that marriage which was implemented in full compliance with the Georgian Dynastic Law. Thus these children have the royal name of Bagrationi-Gruzinskis and who are the dynasts of the royal house of Georgia.
- HRH Princess Irina Gruzinsky (born in 2003)
- HRH Princess Mariam Gruzinsky (born in 2007)
The second marriage of H.R.H. Princess Anna of Georgia with Prince David Mukhranskion on 8 February of 2009 should also be recognized to be in accordance with the Georgian dynastic law of “Zedsidzeoba”. It is important to mention that under the Georgian Dynastic Law this marriage does not give Prince David any sovereignty. Under this law, Prince David would be recognized solely as the Prince consort for H.R.H. Princess Anna of Georgia.
Accordingly, the born child from this marriage would inherit royal rights from the line of his mother. It is important to note that by Georgian Dynastic Law a male descendent of the Royal House has priority over any females in the line of succession.
Representatives of the two families, Bagrationi-Gruzinski and Bagration Mukhranski, collaborated on a post-marriage dynastic succession agreement, and the outline of the agreement was sent to His Holiness, the Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II (This agreement acknowledged H.R.H. Prince Nugzar’s line as the true royal line with his dynastic rights passing to the children of Prince David and H.R.H. Princess Anna). Unfortunately, Prince Davit left the country without completing the request and signing this important document.
Thus, if above mentioned marriage will fit the Dynastic Law then Prince Giorgi will surpass his older sisters in the line of succession - Were Prince Giorgi to become a dynast, he would be the heir apparent to the throne after his mother.
HRH Princess Irine of Georgia is elder daughter of HRH Princess Anna of Georgia.
HRH Princess Mariam of Georgia is the second daughter of HRH Princess Anna of Georgia.
HRH Prince Giorgi Mukhrani son of the second marriage of H.R.H. Princess Anna of Georgia with Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani on 8 February of 2009.