|Birth||24 June 1976 (Madrid)|
Prince David Bagrationi of Mukhrani, 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 claimant to the headship by primogeniture of the royal House of Bagrationi which reigned in Georgia from the medieval era until the early 19th century, succeeding on the death of his father Jorge de Bagration on 16 January 2008.
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.
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. Bagrationi also has one older sister, Maria-Antonietta, one older brother, Irakly, and a younger half-brother, Gourami (Ugo).
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.
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 while his elder brother, Irakly, continued to reside in Spain. 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 and of the Order of the Queen-Saint Tamara, styles which his grandson also claims.
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," 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.
Marriage and divorce
Prince David Bagration of Mukhrani married Princess Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky on 8 February 2009 at the Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral. 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.
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. 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. 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. Although some Georgian monarchists support the Gruzinsky branch's claim, others support that of the repatriated Mukhrani branch. 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: yet the elder branch had lost the kingship of Kartli by 1724.
Meanwhile, the Bagration-Gruzinsky line, although junior to the Mukhrani genealogically, 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.
Bagrationi is the only member of his branch who retains Georgian citizenship and residence since the death of his father in 2008. Aside from his late father and unmarried elder brother, he is senior in male-line descent of the Bagration family, while Ana's father, Prince Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky, is the most senior descendant of the last Bagrationi to reign over the united Kartli and Kakheti kingdom, King George XII. Although Nugzar and his cousin Prince Eugene Bagration-Gruzinsky descend in patriline from George XII, both were born before 1951, and since the death of Eugene's father they are the only known living males in the Gruzinsky lineage. 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:
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. 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. At that time Merabishvili claimed that the Bagrationi couple were no longer married. However it was rumoured by the Georgian press that the couple had reconciled and was expecting their first child.
The couple is 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. 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.
Relations to Royal House of Spain
Continuing the close familial relationship of the Mukhrani line with the Spanish Royal family, Bagrationi was among the few guests invited to Felipe VI's 2014 enthronement as king.
|Ancestors of David Bagration of Mukhrani|