The Burden of the Georgian Crown


Soon, a collegium of three judges at the Tbilisi City Hall will have to rule on a bizarre decision. Who does the Royal Crown belong to: Princess Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky or Prince David Bagrationi-Mukhrani? The fact that recently the opposing parties were husband and wife makes the responsibility and burden of the judges all the heavier. Years ago, their marriage was celebrated publicly. Today, the former royal couple are accusing each other of conmanship and illicit use of the royal title. Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky is the claimant who also accused her former husband of issuing Royal Orders in exchange for money. However, David Bagrationi-Mukhrani is claiming the Gruzinskys are not real Bagrationis and accuses them of illegally misappropriating the royal title.

The dynasty of the Bagrationi family as the kings of united Georgia began in 978 and ended in 1810, which is when Russia’s Emperor Alexandre 1st ruled a manifesto on adopting Georgia’s dismantled regions into Russia. This was how the Bagrationis ruling Kakheti, Kartli and Imereti became deprived of their royal titles. Ever since, the Russian Emperors referred to the the former kings of Kartli as “Mukhranskis,” while those of Kakheti “Gruzinskys,” and those from Imereti as “Imeretinskis.” After the Bolsheviks took over the Russian Empire, most of the Georgian royal family fled and ended up in Spain and Italy. However, some members of the family remained in the homeland. Today, there are three different lines of Bagrationis: Gruzinskys, Mukhranskis and Imeretinskis. The Gruzinskys and Mukhranskis view themselves as predominant and compete with each other for the lead.

Exactly because of this historic controversy, the decision to marry Ana Bagration-Gruzinsky to Davit Bagrationi-Mukhraneli was made with the aim of uniting the two royal branches for all eternity. Although the idea of this “contract” belonged to the Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, the government in 2009 argued that in reality the initiative belonged to the former chief of Intelligence of Russia, Yevgeny Primakov. Then Minister of Interior Affairs Vano Merabishvili believed that the Kremlin supported the restoration of monarchy and viewed it as a favorable alternative to the government of Saakashvili. In 2009, the royal project failed, with rumors suggesting that the marriage had been dissolved with the efforts of the government, who “forced” a local TV celebrity Shorena Begashvili into the life of Davit Bagrationi-Mukhraneli, deteriorating the marriage.

The forgotten project was reinstated only after Georgian Dream came to power. At one of his Sunday masses, Patriarch Ilia II preached about the benefits of the Constitutional Monarchy for Georgia and the perspectives of raising up the future monarch within a Church environment. Soon afterwards, the couple were back together and the Prince was born. While the Church did not really participate in raising the child, who is being raised in Vake, where his mother currently lives, the fact that our country has a prince is already a political intrigue in itself. Especially for the godfather, Knight Levan Vasadze, who, after the famous mass mentioned above, decided to hold the responsibility of being the main propagandist of the monarchy. However, the Georgian Dream isn’t completely indifferent to the idea, as some have stated that the Patriarch’s idea is quite interesting.

Why the Royal project is collapsing again and what the real reason is behind the new court case initiated in the Tbilisi City Court is unknown. Especially considering that neither is Saakashvili in government, nor David Bagrationi-Mukhraneli fancing celebrities anymore. One clue to the scandal could be that where once the Patriarch checked Ivanishvili, perhaps now Ivanishvili has decided to check him back with the King.

ByZaza Jgarkava

14 March 2019 16:56