Georgia has high hopes of royal wedding
By Sopo Datishvili
Monday, February 9
Representatives of two branches of the Georgian royal house, Ana Bagrationi-Gruzinski and Davit Bagrationi-Mukhraneli, were married on February 8. The couple are both members of the eighth generation of direct descendants of the last reigning Georgian monarch and therefore the strongest claimants to the crown.
Davit Bagrationi has lived in Spain for many years. He is the son of Khorkhe (Giorgi) Bagrationi-Mukhraneli and after the death of his father became the direct claimant of the crown. As for Ana Bagrationi-Gruzinski, she is the daughter of Rustaveli Theatre director Nugzar Bagrationi-Gruzinski. She is journalist by profession but now works as a teacher in a Tbilisi school. This is Ana’s second marriage, she has two children from her previous union.
The bride was taken to Sameba Cathedral from Darejani Palace. Before the official wedding ceremony, which started at 5 p.m, the couple received the Eucharist in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta. The wedding ceremony was concelebrated by several senior clergy. The bride and groom entered the cathedral on a red carpet, while men with flags dressed in Georgian national costume, the Chokha, greeted them on the way.
Sameba Cathedral was packed with several thousand people. Everyone wanted to see the leaders of the Georgian Royal Family. Most of the people in the Cathedral were sure that the monarchy must be restored. “I think this is a very important moment in Georgian history. I’m glad I’m here to see it. I wish the bride and groom happiness and all of us here are sure that from today Georgia will have a legitimate monarch. As a citizen I’m all for this,” said Ia Niniashvili, who attended the ceremony.
Everyone was sure that this day was very important in the history of Georgia. “I’m glad that I can be present at this ceremony. When I heard about this marriage I decided to become an eyewitness of it,” said Meri Aburjania, another citizen who attended.
Amongst the officially invited guests were many well known faces from culture, sport, business and politics, the great majority of the politicians being opposition leaders. Among these was Conservative Party leader Zviad Dzidziguri who was also dressed in a Chokha. He remembered from history when the Russians abolished the monarchy. “Today we have taken a step towards the restoration of the Monarchy. I’m the member of the Conservative Party and as everywhere in the world Conservatives in Georgia are also supporters of the institution of the Monarchy. I wish happiness to the newly-married couple,” added Dzidziguri.
Nikusha Shengelaia, the son of actress Sopiko Chiaureli and Giorgi Shengelaia, was also present. He said that like every wedding, this one was a very pleasant and important event, but he highlighted that it didn’t imply any political gesture. “Creating a family is very important and nice. So I’m happy for them. Whether this marriage is the beginning of a change in our system of government, I think not. Such things are up to society and not particular people. We should care about our country ourselves. Today we are the witnesses of the beginning of one more family life,” he said.
The ceremony was performed by the heads of different eparchies. Everything was extremely well organized and appropriate for royalty. This time the couple wore only the crowns that are part of the Orthodox wedding ceremony but most people in the Cathedral were sure that the Bagrationi family will regain its historic glory and after 208 years restart the Monarchy from sscratch.