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David Bagration of Mukhrani

Prince David Bagrationi Mukhrani (Mukran-Batoni [მუხრანბატონი]) of Georgia, David Bagration de Moukhrani y de Zornoza, or Davit Bagrationi-Mukhraneli (Georgian: დავით ბაგრატიონ-მუხრანელი), (born 24 June 1976), is a Spanish-born scion of the Mukhrani branch of the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty and current head by primogeniture of the royal House of Bagrationi which reigned in Georgia from the medieval era until the early 19th century,[1] succeeding on the death of his father Jorge de Bagration on 16 January 2008.

David Bagration
David de Bagration.jpg
Prince David in 2008
Head of the Royal House of Georgia (disputed)
Tenure16 January 2008 – present
PredecessorJorge de Bagration
Born (1976-06-24) 24 June 1976 (age 42)
Madrid, Spain
Spouse
Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky
(m. 2009; div. 2013)
IssueGiorgi Bagrationi
HouseBagrationi
FatherJorge de Bagration
MotherMaría de las Mercedes de Zornoza y Ponce de León
ReligionGeorgian Orthodox Church

Bagrationi's 2009 marriage to Princess Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky, a member of the rival Gruzinsky branch of the Bagrationi, his marital life and subsequent divorce in 2013, drew much publicity.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Bagrationi was born to the Georgian émigré family as the second son of Spanish race car driver, Prince George Bagrationi-Mukhraneli, by his first wife Doña María de las Mercedes de Zornoza y Ponce de León in Madrid, Spain. He has an older sister, Maria-Antonietta, and brother, Irakly, and a younger half-brother, Gourami (Ugo).[2] Bagrationi is also a cousin of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, head of the Russian Imperial House, as her mother was born Princess Leonida Bagration-Mukhraneli.[3]

Dynastic activitiesEdit

Bagrationi settled permanently in Georgia's capital of Tbilisi in 2003 and obtained dual citizenship from Georgia in 2004. He has also been an altar server to Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.[4][5]

In January 2008, Bagrationi announced his father's death, declaring himself to be his father's successor as the patrilineal head of the Georgian royal family[6] while his elder brother, Irakly, continued to reside in Spain. As such his supporters recognize him as Royal Prince of Kartli and Hereditary Prince of the sovereign principality (satavado) of Mukhrani.[7] Bagrationi's paternal grandfather, Prince Irakly Bagration-Mukhransky, had claimed headship of the Bagrationi dynasty in 1957 and, as such, the additional designations of Prince and Head of the Royal House of Georgia, of Kartalia, and of Mukhrani, Duke of the Lasos, Sovereign Head and Grand Master of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia[8] and of the Order of the Queen-Saint Tamara,[9][10] styles which his grandson also claims.[6] As the Mukhrani line are related by marriage to the Spanish Royal family, Bagrationi was among the guests invited to Felipe VI's 2014 enthronement as king.[11]

 
Order of the Saint Queen Tamar

During the Russia–Georgia war over South Ossetia in August 2008, Bagrationi accompanied Georgian soldiers to the front-line to render moral support. He commented afterwards that he regretted Georgia "had to pay such a high price to show the world the true face of Russia,"[12] and issued a message to the Georgian nation. Bagrationi considers restoration of monarchy in Georgia is not an option at this time because of ongoing Russian occupation of parts of the country; and it is up to the people of Georgia to decide when the monarchy should be restored.[12]

During his second royal visit to the United Kingdom, on 8 March 2017, Prince David was received at Kensington Palace where he presented the insignia of the Grand Collar of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia to Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and his wife Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.[13][14] On December 16th 2018 Prince David was invited to the inauguration of Georgia's first female President, long time pro-West and royal supporter, Salome Zouravishvili [15], who herself selected one of the old Georgia Kingdom's last Royal Residences to celebrate Georgia's rich Royal Heritage and its Westward leaning future [16]

Marriage and divorceEdit

 
 Wedding Ceremony, Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi
 
 Wedding Ceremony, Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi

Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani married Princess Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky on 8 February 2009 at the Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral.[17] The marriage united the two branches of the Georgian former royal family with competing claims to the rights to the throne of Georgia — those of Gruzinsky and of Mukhrani — and drew a crowd of 3,000 spectators, officials, and foreign diplomats, as well as extensive coverage by the Georgian media.[1][4]

The dynastic significance of the wedding lay in the fact that, amid 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.[18] Without naming any preferred claimant, prior to Prince David and Princess Ana's wedding, Patriarch Ilia II had emphasized the need to prepare the populace for restoration of the monarchy, "and elect a Bagration, to be educated from childhood" to take the crown.[1] 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 since the 1800s.[1] Although some Georgian monarchists support the Gruzinsky branch's claim, others support that of the repatriated Mukhrani branch.[18] Both branches descend in unbroken, legitimate male line from the medieval kings of Georgia down to King Constantine II of Georgia who died in 1505.

Whereas the Bagration-Mukhrani (Bagrationi-Mukhraneli) was a cadet branch of the former Royal House of Kartli, it became the genealogically seniormost line of the Bagrationi dynasty in the early 20th century:[2] yet the elder branch had lost the kingship of Kartli by 1724.[2]

Meanwhile, the Bagration-Gruzinsky line, although junior to the Mukhrani genealogically,[2] reigned over the kingdom of Kakheti, re-united the two eastern Georgian realms in the kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti in 1762, and did not lose sovereignty until Russian annexation in 1801.[4]

Bagrationi is the only member of his branch who retains Georgian citizenship and residence since the death of his father in 2008.[4] Aside from his unmarried elder brother, he is senior in male-line descent of the Bagration family,[3] while Ana's father, Prince Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky, is the only remaining prince who descends in male line George XII, the last king to reign over the united Kartli and Kakheti kingdom.[2] The marriage between Nugzar Gruzinsky's heiress and the Mukhrani heir potentially resolves their rivalry for the claim to the throne, which had divided Georgian monarchists:[4]

There had been reports of marital discord since April 2009. In December 2009, in a Georgian version of The Moment of Truth on Imedi TV the Georgian actress Shorena Begashvili admitted to having an affair with Bagrationi.[5] Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili alleged in an interview published by Russian newspaper Kommersant on 7 April 2010 that their marital union had been arranged with the primary purpose of promoting the restoration of the Georgian monarchy under the Bagrationi. Therefore, according to Merabishvili, Anna Bagration-Gruzinsky was forced to divorce her first husband, Grigol Malania, in order to allow her to wed Bagrationi.[clarification needed] At that time Merabishvili claimed that the Bagrationi couple were no longer married.[19][20] However it was rumoured by the Georgian press that the couple had reconciled and was expecting their first child.[21]

The couple are said to have retaken their marital vows in a civil ceremony on 12 November 2010 in Madrid.

The couple's only child, a son, Giorgi, was born in Madrid on 27 September 2011 and baptized by Patriarch Ilia II at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta on 3 November 2013.

On 15 December 2013, the official statement from Bagrationi posted on the website "Royal House of Georgia" confirmed his divorce from Anna.[22][23][24][25][26] Giorgi remains the only son of either spouse, and the only son and grandson, respectively, of the rival Bagrationi pretenders, Prince David and Prince Nugzar.

AncestorsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Vignanski, Misha (2 August 2009). "Primera boda real en dos siglos reagrupa dos ramas de la dinastía Bagration". el confidencial (in Spanish). Tiflis, Spain. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1980). Burke's Royal Families of the World: Volume II Africa & the Middle East. pp. 59, 61–62, 64–65, 67–68. ISBN 0-85011-029-7.
  3. ^ a b de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. ‘’Le Petit Gotha’’. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, pp. 483-485, 798 (French) ISBN 2-9507974-3-1
  4. ^ a b c d e "Wedding of the two royal dynasties members". Georgia Times. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Un altro divorzio reale". Rai News. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Giorgi Bagrationi Mukhran Batonishvili". Royal House of Georgia. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  7. ^ Suny, Ronald Grigor (1994), The Making of the Georgian Nation, pp. 46-7. Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20915-3.
  8. ^ "Order of the Eagle of Georgia". Royal House of Georgia. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Order of the Queen Tamar". Royal House of Georgia. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  10. ^ Zorilla, Francisco (1971). Genealogía de la Casa de Borbón de España. pp. 198–199. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  11. ^ "ესპანეთის მეფის კურთხევის ცერემონიის დეტალები – ექსკლუზიური ინტერვიუ დავით ბაგრატიონთან" (in Georgian). Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Un Rey con acento español para Georgia" (in Spanish). ABC Periódico Electrónico. 5 September 2008.
  13. ^ "Court Circular". The Royal Household (UK). Retrieved 5 Apr 2017.
  14. ^ "HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II PRESENTED WITH THE GRAND COLLAR OF THE ORDER OF THE EAGLE OF GEORGIA". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  15. ^ Civil Georgia (8 Oct. 2007) ). Politicians Comment on constitutional Monarchy. Retrieved from . https://old.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=15974
  16. ^ The Japantimes News (December 16, 2018). Salome Zurabishvili, Georgia’s first female President, takes oath of office. Retrieved from: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/16/world/politics-diplomacy-world/salome-zurabishviligeorgias-first-female-president-takes-oath-office/#.XBu8kVVKjX4
  17. ^ Royal Ark
  18. ^ a b "Time for a King for Georgia?".
  19. ^ "Georgia's Interior Minister: Revival of Bagrationi Dynasty in Georgia is Primakov's project". 15 April 2010.
  20. ^ "Merabishvili on Elections, Opposition, Russia, Ukraine". 15 April 2010.
  21. ^ ""სამეფო კარზე" მემკვიდრეს ელოდებიან" [Royal court successor is expected] (in Georgian).
  22. ^ "Couple of Georgian royal heirs is on the verge of divorce". Georgia Times. 31 March 2010.
  23. ^ Династический брак представителей восьмого поколения фамилии Багратионов окончательно распался (in Russian). Blagovest, Russia. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  24. ^ "Look Caras: Gritos y susurros" (in Spanish). 8 October 2009.
  25. ^ Descendant of Georgian kings announces his divorce. Vestnik Kavkaza. 16 December 2013.
  26. ^ Charkhalashvili, Ketevan (19 December 2013). "Georgian Royal Family Divorce". Georgian News TV. Retrieved 7 January 2014.

External linksEdit