The Legal Heir to the
Royal Throne of the
Georgian Bagrationi Dynasty
The Georgian Royal Dynasty – the “Iesian, Davitian, Solomonian Bagrationi” – has a documented history of roughly 1,300 years and is among the oldest monarchies in the world. (See Additional Information No. 1) This honourable dynasty, consisting of the Royal line and noble offshoots, has enriched Georgian history with saints, kings, politicians, military commanders, churchmen, scientists, and artists. Bagrationi descendants still serve their motherland and struggle for its welfare. (See Additional Information No. 2)
Presently, the distinguished name of Bagrationi has over one hundred known descendants. Naturally, not every descendant has an equal claim to be the heir to the Georgian Royal Throne. (See Additional Information 3) The issue of rightful succession is regulated by Georgian dynastic law and supported by international law (See Genealogical Chart). Under these laws, His Royal Highness Prince Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski is the rightful heir to the Georgian Royal Throne.
Statement of the Chancellery of the
Royal House of Georgia
“God established earthly royal rule to be similar to heavenly rule, according to His all-powerful reign; akin to His eternal realm, earthly royalty is hereditary.” The Bagrationi succession has been established through centuries of tradition, and it stipulates that there is only one righful heir at a time. The heir must be a Bagrationi of the Royal line. While the history of Georgia has had occasional exceptions, the traditions of Georgia establish a clear succession mechanism.
Any election of a monarch in Georgia or selection of a candidate from offshoot Bagrationi lines would be a rude violation of dynastic law established over centuries and supported by international law. The proper heir must be a descendant of Georgia’s last king, Giorgi XII, and also a descendant of the king Giorgi VIII, who ruled prior to the disintegration of united Georgia into the kingdoms of Kartli, Kakheti, and Imereti. (See Additional Information No. 4)
The last king of united Georgia, Giorgi VIII, represented both the east Georgian bloodline of his father, Davit-Ulu, and the west Georgian bloodline of Davit-Narini, through his mother. This was of major importance in the legitimization of the Royal line of the united Georgia. (See Additional Information No. 5)
During the 30-year rule of Giorgi VIII, the Ottomans fractured the coalition between Georgia and the rest of Europe. This led to the break of the united Georgian Kingdom into the aforementioned provincial kingdoms of Kakheti, Kartli, and Imereti. (See Additional Information No. 6)
The Imereti Royal dynasty was headed by the cousin of King Giorgi VIII. Collateral lines of this dynasty led to the honourable nobility of the Bagration–Imeretinski, the Imeretinski (who did not retain the Bagrationi name), and the Imeretian Bagrationis (Ghvankiteli).
In contrast, the nephew of Giorgi VIII, Konstantine, gave rise to the Kartli Royal dynasty. Collateral lines of this dynasty are the nobility of the Bagration–Mukhraneli and the Gochashvili.
King Giorgi VIII retained the loyalty of Kakheti and became the first ruler of the Kakheti kingdom. Collateral lines from this dynasty gave rise to the noble branches of the Bagration–Davitishvili and the the Bagration–Babadishvili. Yet, King Giorgi VIII never gave up on restoring the united Georgian Royal Throne. His struggle was carried on by his descendants and was eventually brought to realization by Erekle II. (See Additional Information No. 7)
In 1790, under the reign of King Erekle II, an agreement known as the “Treaty of the Iberians (Iverians)” was signed. Within this document, King Erekle II was recognized as the sovereign of all Georgians – “the father of them all”. The treaty was signed by Imeretian King Solomon II, Grigol Dadiani, and Simon Gurieli. Thus the status of King Erekle II was inherited by his son, who became the Georgian King Giorgi XII. (See Additional Information No. 8)
In 1801, the Russian Emperor forcibly abolished the monarchy in Georgia, and the names of the heirs to the throne were appended with “Gruzinski” (meaning “of Georgia”). This distinguished the Royal Georgian line from the other Bagrationi nobility. Because of this, only the Royal family bears the name Bagration-Gruzinski. (See Additional Information No. 9) For confirmation of the above facts, please see the below table of Bagrationi Royals and the ancillary noble branches.
In 2006, a memorandum was signed by the House of Bagrationi in which Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski was recognized as the Royal heir to the throne. The memorandum confirms the legal, historical, and genealogical reasons why he is the Royal heir. Additionally, the memorandum contains legal documents from historians of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, recognition of Prince Nugzar as the rightful heir from the Georgian genealogical society and the assembly of the Georgian nobility, and historical documents preserved in the libraries of the Georgian and Russian State Archives. Furthermore, the memorandum contains recognition of Prince Nugzar as the rightful heir by the all-Russian Monarchy Centre, the scientific board of the Moscow Memorial Museum of the Russian Imperial Name, and the Peter-Paul Imperial Society. (See Additional Information No. 10)
Some people maintain that the Royal heir should instead be chosen from offshoots of the Kartli or Imereti Bagrationis because Prince Nugzar Bagrationi only has daughters. But entertaining such a notion is contrary to Georgian dynastic law and could be considered an attempt to usurp the throne of the rightful Prince Nugzar. Neither of the Kartli and Imereti Bagrationi lines represent the direct heirs of the last king of the united Georgia, Giorgi XII. Neither do these lines represent the direct heirs of King Giorgi VIII, who reigned prior to the dissolution of the united Georgian kingdom. The Throne of united Georgia belongs only to the Bagration-Gruzinski Royal House, and Prince Nugzar Bagrationi is the current heir to the throne and the Head of the Royal House. Consequently, as the Royal heir, Prince Nugzar has every right under dynastic law to name his future heir. That heir is Princess Anna Bagrationi-Gruzinski. (See Additional Information No. 11)
Today, women reign in Britain, the Netherlands, and Denmark have dynasties that are perpetuated through the female line. The kings of Romania and Sweden have likewise named their daughters as the future heirs to the throne. Within Georgia, the concept of female leadership is well-settled historically. In the Middle Ages, the Georgian throne was occupied by the King of Kings Tamar, King of Kings Rusudan, and the King – queen of Hereti, who was Dinara I. Additionally, there was Dinara II, who was the Queen Regent of Kakheti Ketevan, and the King – queen of Imereti, who was Darejan. Consequently, it is well-established that if a monarch has no son, the dynasty continues through the female line. (See Additional Information No. 12)
Prince Nugzar accepted the proposal of the Catholicos Patriarch, Ilia II, to pass the Royal headship of the House of Bagrationi through his daughter. Therefore, at his death, the Royal line will pass to his daughter and to a child of hers. Naming the future heir to the throne is solely the prerogative of the Head of the Royal House according to historical customs and dynastic law. (See Additional Information No. 13)
Holy Easter, 2010
Chancellor of the Royal House Kakha Koridze
(See Additional Information No. 14)
P.S. Additional information from No. 1 – No. 14 is being translated.
For recent publications on the Royal House of Georgia, please click here.