As of July 2020.
The Georgian royal family of the Bagrations practiced masculine primogeniture, legitimate sons and their descendants taking precedence over daughters and natural sons, and their descendants. Tamara the Great in 1184 was among the nation’s earliest ruling queens and Tamara II, 560 years later in 1744, became the last.
In 2017, Ilia II, the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, renewed a call for the restoration of a constitutional monarchy in Georgia. This sentiment was echoed at the time by the ruling coalition party, The Georgian Dream.
The claim to represent the royal legacy is asserted on behalf of both Prince Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky and Prince David Bagrationi of Moukrani, representatives of the Gruzinsky and Mukhransky branches of the Bagrationi dynasty, respectively. Prince David’s late father, Prince George Bagration-Mukhransky, was recognised by the Georgian government as head of the former royal house in 1991 and accorded the title of ‘Batonishvili’ (royal prince/tsarevich), as noted on his Georgian passport, being the seniormost legitimate descendant of the dynasty in the male line.
Other prominent Georgians, however, acknowledge the claim of Prince Nugzar, who springs from a junior branch of the Bagratids, but is the seniormost descendant of the last Bagrationi to reign over the united Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, which consisted of eastern Georgia (Iberia).
Prince Nugzar’s direct ancestor, George XII, ruled Georgia’s united central and eastern realms, Kartli and Kakheti (the male-line of the westernmost and smallest realm, the Kingdom of Imereti, was dethroned in 1810 and became extinct in the legitimate male line in 1978). Although genealogically junior to the Mukhraneli dynasts, supporters of Prince Nugzar’s line (which has come under scrutiny due to omission of an authenticating witness on his father’s birth certificate) uphold his claim as that of the most recent branch of the family to have reigned. Whereas the Mukhraneli fled the Russian revolution to western Europe and asserted their claim from abroad until the fall of the Soviet Union (whereupon the heir repatriated), unbeknownst to the West the main Gruzinzky line remained in Georgia under Russian domination, explicitly advancing his claim in 2006, after Georgia obtained official independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
The two branches were united in 2009 by the marriage of Princess Anna Bagration-Gruzinky (Prince Nugzar’s daughter) to Prince David Bagration-Mukhransky, who became the parents of Prince George Bagration-Bagrationi (born on September 27, 2011). George can claim to be the heir eventual to the abolished throne by reckoning descent from Georgia’s kings through either his father (heir-male of the House of Bagrationi) or his mother (heir-of-the-body of King George XII), thereby incarnating the shared claim that Ilia II encouraged and has recognised.
Orders of succession of the two families
Line of the Royal House of Georgia (Bagrationi)
Line of Prince David Bagration-Mukhraneli
- Prince Giorgi Bagration-Bagrationi (b. 2011)
- Prince Irakli Bagration-Mukhransky (b. 1972)
- Prince Gurami Ugo Bagration-Mukhransky (b. 1985)
- Prince Juan Jorge Bagration-Mukhransky (b. 1977)
Line of the Royal House of Bagration-Gruzinsky
Line of Prince Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky
- Princess Anna Nugzaris asuli Bagration-Gruzinsky (b. Tbilisi 1.11.1976)
- Prince Giorgi Bagration-Bagrationi (b. 27.9.2011)
- Princess Irine Bagrationi-Gruzinski (elder daughter of Anna by her first husband, Grigoriy Malania)*
- Princess Mariam Bagrationi-Gruzinski (younger daughter of Anna and her first husband, Grigoriy Malania)*
- Princess Maya Nugzaris asuli Bagration-Gruzinsky (b. Tbilisi 2.1.1978)
- Themour Chichinadze (elder child of Maya and Nikoloz Chichinadze) *
- Anna Chichinadze (younger child of Maya and Nikoloz Chichinadze) *
- Princess Dali Petres asuli Bagration-Gruzinsky (b. Tbilisi 17.10.1939)
- Princess Mzevinar Petres asuli Bagration-Gruzinsky (b. 15.9.1945)
- Prince Evgeni Bagration-Gruzinsky (1947–2018)
- Princess Marina Bagration-Gruzinsky (b. 1950)
- Princess Ekaterina Bagration-Gruzinsky (b. 1956)