Order of the Eagle of Georgia
The Order of the Eagle of Georgia and the Seamless Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Georgian: საქართველოს არწივისა და უფლისა ჩვენისა იესო ქრისტეს უკერველი კვართის) commonly known as the Order of the Eagle of Georgia (OEG), is the highest order of chivalry awarded by the House of Bagration, whose Chief and Grand Master is Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani, Duke of Lasos, Prince of Kakheti, Prince of Kartli and Prince of Mukhrani. Prince David became the head of the Royal House and supreme master of the order when his father, Jorge de Bagration (de jure King George XIV), died and Prince David inherited, by right of blood (jure sanguinis), the right to confer (jus honorum) his house's Royal Order motu proprio as a heritable prerogative in his capacity of de jure King David XIII.
|Order of the Eagle of Georgia and the Seamless Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ|
Grand Cross and Grand Collar Star of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia
|Awarded by Bagrationi dynasty|
|Awarded for||reward for virtue with regards to Georgia and the cause of the monarchy|
|Established||between 1184 and 1213; |
reestablished in 1939
|Next (lower)||Order of Saint Queen Tamara|
Ribbon of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia
On 8 March 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, "received the Grand Collar of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia" from Prince David in honor of the Queen's 90th birthday. This represents the first time that Queen Elizabeth II has accepted an order of chivalry from a non-crowned head of a non-reigning royal house. This acceptance was confirmed in the publication of the official record of royal engagements in the Court Circular.
History of the OrderEdit
Traditionally founded by Queen Tamar of Georgia (1184–1213), the Order of the Eagle of Georgia was restored by Prince Irakli Bagration of Mukhrani in 1939 as the highest of the House Orders of the Bagrationi dynasty.
Contemporary sources[who?] claim that Queen Tamar of Georgia founded the Order to help the Empire of Trebizond. She gave the Georgian knights the Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Eagle as their emblems in order to distinguish them from the knights of the Empire of Trebizond, who had the double-headed eagle as their emblem. The name of the Order refers to the Sacred Tunic that Jesus Christ wore during His martyrdom. According to tradition, after the relic was raffled off by Roman soldiers, it was taken to Georgia, preserved and buried in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, alongside the insignias of King.
In 1942, Prince Irakli Bagration of Mukhrani (Prince of Kartli, Hereditary Prince of Mukhransky, Duke of Lasos, sovereign Grand Master of the OEG as well as the order of Queen St. Tamar) was elected President of the Union of Traditionalist Georgians, who were dedicated to restoring a free Georgia under a constitutional monarchy.
Upon his death in 1977, Prince Irakly was succeeded by his first-born son, Prince Jorge de Bagration, who preferred to maintain the order within the strict circle of his family for reasons of discretion and dynastic policy until, in 2001, he decided to give concessions for excellence and merit.:59, 61–62, 64–65, 67–68 After 2003, Prince Jorge gave the OEG a new constitution, establishing the terms and conditions under which it is currently governed by Prince David. From the very beginning, Jorge de Bagration, as advanced by his heir, wanted the Order to be an effective instrument of assistance to the people of Georgia.
During the Grand Mastership of Prince Jorge de Bagration, significant figures from the nobility and royalty entered the Order. These include Dom Miguel de Braganca, Duke of Viseu and Infante of Portugal, who is a Knight Grand Cross of the OEG.
Speaking to the legitimacy of the Mukhrani fons honorum, other royals accepting the order include Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess (de jure Empress) of Russia and the widely-accepted (but disputed) head of the Imperial Romanov dynasty, who is a Lady of the Grand Cross, and first cousin once removed from Prince David. Per exemplum, the website of Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia and pretender to the throne, created a new order of knighthood in 2010 for women. Notably, her mother was Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani, who, as the dowager Grand Duchess of Russia, was the last living (by marriage) Romanov born in the Russian Empire and was the great-aunt of the order's current Grand Master, Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani.
In relation to the order's accepted fons honorum, in 1991, it was reported that the Georgian Parliament acknowledged Prince Jorge Bagration of Mukhrani as the head of the Royal house of Bagrationi.
In 1995, OEG Grand Master, Prince Jorge, traveled to Georgia with Grand Duchess Maria (see above) of Russia and Grand Duke George (a knight of the OEG) and met with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, who declared to Prince Jorge: "My Lord, you are in your homeland which needs the Royal Family to maintain its unity."
Given the Mukhrani's long exile in Spain, and the order's restoration in 1939, it is not surprising that many of the order's members are Spanish, including many aristocrats. Even very recently, the Spanish newspaper La Razon, for example, detailed a 2013 OEG investiture in Valencia Spain, officiated by Prince David. The article listed a number of Georgian and Spanish luminaries and business leaders who received knighthood in the OEG. Notable guests included Prince Andres Salvadore of Habsburg-Lorraine and Salm-San; Archduke of Austria and Prince of Bohemia and Hungary among other titles.
Prince David recently honored H.R.H. Dom Duarte Pio, de jure King of Portugal and Duke of Braganca with OEG's Grand Collar in an exchange of honors. The Spanish government formally accorded the Bagration-Moukkrhani Princes the qualification of "Royal Highness," although the title had been Serene Highness before the Mukrhani diaspora.
To end the exile era and bind the order and the Mukhrani claim to their royal Georgian roots, Prince David repatriated to Georgia in 2008, one year after the Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II, who is a holder of the Grand Collar of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia, had called for the restoration of the Georgian monarchy. David was granted citizenship, and a year later, in a marriage that received widespread media attention, married Princess Anna, daughter of the genealogically junior Grazinsky Bragration branch who were rivals to the defunct Georgian throne.:56–67 
Princess Anna was, herself, a Dame of the OEG's Grand Collar. This event was characterized by Dr. Silvia Serrano, Professor of Law at the University of Auvergne, as a "symbolic 'glueing together' of various legitimizing principles (history, nation, religion) ..." This match sparked widespread interest in the revival of a constitutional monarchy. The royal couple divorced in 2013, but not before giving issue to Prince Giorgi, "the son of and heir to two dynasties" who from birth was a Knight Grand Collar of the order. Prince Giorgi is frequently pictured wearing his OEG miniature on a traditional white Choka.
The OEG's symbolic relevance to Georgian independence not only recalls the nation's long line of monarchs, but reflects contemporary political realities. Tellingly, the Order of the Eagle of Georgia has been conferred on former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina (Boris) Ivanishvili (from 25 October 2012 until 20 November 2013) who had founded of the victorious Georgian Dream team which included the pro-monarchy New Rights Party in a coalition that is widely influenced by OEG Knight of Grand Collar Illia II who, polls show, is the most trusted man in Georgia. speaking to the Order's legitimacy is the fact On December 16, 2018 Prince David was invited to the inauguration of Georgia's first female President, long time pro-West and royal supporter, Salome Zouravishvili,  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.
The dynastic order is assessed as an authenticated order of chivalry, but by slightly varying standards. In Burke's Peerage, it is as an order "founded by royal claimants in exile". The International Commission on Orders of Chivalry validates it as a "new chivalric institution founded by the head of a formerly reigning dynasty". The Augustan Society notes it as a non-ruling dynastic honor.
The long exile of the Bagration of Mukhrani claimants in Spain has resulted in deep Spanish connections as the order is highlighted in a list of notable orders on the Blasones Hispanos, Ordenes Dinasticas website. and the Grand Master of the Order, was specifically invited to the coronation of Felipe VI of Spain providing de facto support for his Royal Role of one of the most ancient dynastic royal houses in Europe.
Grand Masters of the OrderEdit
Grades of the OrderEdit
The Order of the Eagle of Georgia is composed of seven grades. However, the two lowest ranks are not usually awarded.
- Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
- King Umberto II of Italy
- King Boris III of Bulgaria
- King Simeon II of Bulgaria
- King George Tupou V of Tonga
- Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, claimant to the Portuguese throne
- Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia
- Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani
- Crown Prince Zera Yacob Amha Selassie
- Nicholas, Crown Prince of Montenegro
- Leka, Crown Prince of Albania
- Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia
- Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople
- Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem
- Patriarch Irinej of Serbia
- Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
- Patriarch Abune Paulos
- Infante Jaime, Duke of Segovia
- Bidzina Ivanishvili former Prime Minister of Georgia (2012–13)
- Sir Michael Smurfit KBE
- Hon. Desmond Guinness
- Patrick Desmond Carl Alexander Guinness, KLJ
- Ambassador (ret) Francis Martin O'Donnell, GCMM, KC*SG, KM, KCHS, KCMCO
- Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum, United States Army
- Sir Robert Balchin, Baron Lingfield Kt
- Sir Ian Patrick Lowson Bt OStJ
- Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Donald Gosling, KCVO
- HE Yukio Hatoyama, former Prime Minister of Japan (2009-2010)
- Vladimer Chachibaia, Georgian military officer, Chief of General Staff
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