Decree of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich, on the Recognition of the Royal Rank of the House of Bagration, 22 November/5 December 1946.


In August 1946, a member of the Royal House of Bagration married a member of the Royal House of Spain.  The groom was Prince Irakly Bagration de Moukhrani (1909-1977), son of Prince George Bagration de Moukhrani and sister of Princess Leonida Bagration de Moukhrani (who in August 1948 became Grand Duchess Wladimir of Russia).  The bride was Infanta Maria de las Mercedes of Spain (1911-1953), daughter of Don Ferdinand, Infante of Spain, Prince of Bavaria, a brother-in-law of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

Infante Ferdinand, the father of the bride, requested Grand Duke Wladimir, in his capacity as Head of the Russian Imperial House, to advise the Infante whether his daughter’s marriage to Prince Bagration de Moukhrani could be considered an equal marriage to a royal prince.  (Grand Duke Wladimir was closely related to the House of Spain.  His mother’s sister was Infante Beatrice of Spain, born Princess Beatrice of Great Britain, and his mother’s first cousin was Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain.)

Grand Duke Wladimir replied that it was a marriage to a royal prince.  The Grand Duke issued a formal document, excerpts from which are as follows:


"Act of the Head of the Imperial House, 5th December 1946:  His Royal Highness the Infante don Ferdinand [of Spain]…, when his daughter the Infanta Maria Mercedes was about to contract a marriage with Prince Irakly Bagration of Moukhrani, asked me whether…I could consider the proposed marriage to be an equal one.  My reply, which was conveyed to the Infante through the intermediary of the Spanish minister in Berne, the Conde de Bailen, was in the affirmative, in as much as, after prolonged and diligent study of the history of Georgia and the Georgian question, and after consulting my uncle, His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Andrew, brother of my late Father,…I consider it right and proper to recognise the royal status of the senior branch of the Bagration family, as well as the right of the members to bear the title of Prince of Georgia and the style of Royal Highness.  The present head of the family is Prince George.  If Almighty God, in His Mercy, allows the rebirth of our great empire, I consider it right that the Georgian language should be restored for use in the internal administration of Georgia and in her educational establishments.  The Russian language should be obligatory for general relations within the Empire... 

(Signed)  Wladimir.”