Jorge de Bagration

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"Giorgi Bagrationi" redirects here. For the Georgian prince, see Giorgi Bagrationi (born 2011).
Jorge de Bagration
Jorge de Bagration.jpg
Head of the Royal House of Georgia (disputed)
Tenure 30 October 1977 – 16 January 2008
Predecessor Irakli Bagration of Mukhrani
Successor David Bagration of Mukhrani
Spouse María de las Mercedes de Zornoza y Ponce de León
Nuria Llopis y Oliart
Issue María Antonieta Bagrationi-Mukhraneli
Irakli Bagrationi-Mukhraneli
David Bagration of Mukhrani
Ugo Bagration
House Bagrationi
Father Irakli Bagration of Mukhrani
Mother Maria Antonietta Pasquini dei conti di Costafiorita
Born (1944-02-22)22 February 1944
Rome, Italy
Died 16 January 2008(2008-01-16) (aged 63)
Tbilisi, Georgia
Burial Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Religion Georgian Orthodox Church

Jorge de Bagration y de Mukhrani[1] or Giorgi Bagration-Mukhraneli or George Bagration of Mukhrani[1] (Georgian: გიორგი (ხორხე) ბაგრატიონ-მუხრანელი) (22 February 1944 – 16 January 2008) was a Spanish racing car driver of Georgian descent and a claimant to the headship of the Bagrationi dynasty and to the historical throne of Georgia.[1]

Early life[edit]

Jorge was born in Rome, Italy,[1] in 1944, the eldest son of émigré Prince Irakli Bagration-Mukhrani, a descendant of the Mukhraneli branch of the Bagration royal family of Georgia. His father, Prince Irakli Bagration-Mukhrani, had gone into exile in Italy following the Bolshevik Revolution, but retained his claim to the throne of Georgia.[1]

His Italian mother, Maria Antonietta Pasquini (1911–1944), daughter of Ugo, Count di Costafiorita, died giving birth to him.[1] In 1946, the widowed Prince Irakli married Princess Maria de las Mercedes de Baviera y Borbón (1911–1953), daughter of Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria (who had been naturalised as a Spanish infante) and granddaughter of King Alfonso XII of Spain, thus bringing the Bagrationis into the marital and social orbit of the dynasties of Western Europe.[2] Giorgi's cousin, Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia is, like him, a royal pretender.

Racing career[edit]

He started his motor sport career in 1959, firstly with motorcycles and from 1963 in cars, racing in various series. He made two attempts at Formula One, firstly at the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix with a Lola, but his entry was refused.

His second attempt to enter a Grand Prix was again in Spain, at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix, but his efforts fell victim to a very unusual set of circumstances. He had bought a Surtees TS16 for this race, and he was included on the entry list. Unfortunately this entry list was mislaid as the outgoing president of the Spanish Motor Sport Federation cleared his office. When a new entry list was drawn up, in the light of some sponsorship problems that de Bagration was experiencing, he was omitted from it. Whether or not he would have been able to race with his reduced backing, he should still have been included on the list of entrants. Thus ended his hopes of competing at motor sport's highest level.

He turned later to rallying, and his best result was winning the Spanish Rally Championship in 1979 and 1981 with a Lancia Stratos HF. He retired from motor sport in 1982.

Head of the Royal House of Georgia[edit]

Known as "Giorgi" in Georgia, the prince became a claimant to the Headship of the Georgian royal family in exile upon the death of his father on 30 October 1977, and as such used the style of Royal Highness. The House of Bagrationi is one of the oldest Christian dynasties in Europe, and reigned over the kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti until 1801, when Giorgi's ancestral realm was annexed to the Russian Empire by Tsar Alexander I of Russia in violation of the Treaty of Georgievsk. Many of the Bagrationi were then deported to Russia, and many fled both Georgia and Russia following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Today there is a small but politically active monarchist movement in Georgia.

Giorgi was recognised in 1991 by the Georgian government and parliament as head of the former royal family despite rival claims by other branches of the Bagrationi Dynasty.[1] He inherited from his father the titles Duke of the Lasos, Prince of Kakhetia, Kartalia and Mukhraneli. He was also Grand Master of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia and the Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Protector Egregio of Divisa of the Old Cavalry and Devotion of San Miguel the Milagroso.[3]

Prince Giorgi made his first visit to his ancestral homeland to bury his father's ashes in 1995. He lived in Marbella, Spain most of his life, but moved to Georgia, where his sons David and Irakli lived. He died in Tbilisi on 16 January 2008 from complications of hepatitis.[2] He was interred among his ancestors, the kings of Georgia, in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta on 20 January 2008.[4][5]

Family[edit]

Jorge married, firstly, Doña María de las Mercedes de Zornoza y Ponce de León (born Madrid, 14 August 1942). Their children were:

Jorge married, secondly, fellow race car driver Doña Nuria Llopis y Oliart (born 14 November 1953 in Barcelona). They had one child:

Ancestors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Jorge de Bagration
Born: 22 February 1944 Died: 16 January 2008
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Irakli Bagration-Mukhraneli
— TITULAR —
Pretender of the throne of Georgia
1977–2008
Succeeded by
David Bagrationi of Moukrani