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.

His Royal Highness, the Infante Don Fernando of Spain, Prince of Bavaria, asked Me when his daughter, the Infanta Mercedes, was about to contract a marriage with Prince Irakly Georgievich Bagration of Moukhrani, whether, taking into account the independence of Georgia from 1918 to 1921 and the present position of its Royal Family, 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 Count de Bailen, was in the affirmative, inasmuch as, after prolonged and careful study of the history of Georgia and of the Georgian question, and after consulting my uncle His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Andrei, brother of my late Father, and my advisers, and after correspondence with the historian, Professor M. Muskelishvili, I consider it right and proper to recognize the royal status of the senior branch of the Bagration family, as well as the right of its 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, grants 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 use within the empire.

I have decided to draw up this decree for the good of the Russian Empire and for the preservation of its territorial integrity in the future, and have deemed it right to affix my signature to it, in order to satisfy the legitimate national sentiments of the Georgian people and in the hopes of avoiding thereby a possible annexation of their fatherland by force of arms, in the event of its willful secession from the Russian Empire.

(The original is signed in His Imperial Highness’s own hand:)


Sanlucar de Barrameda,

5 December 1946

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