Like many doting parents, five-year-old Giorgi’s post cute pictures of him on Facebook: blowing out candles on a birthday cake, or wearing red plastic sunglasses behind the wheel of a car, pretending to drive.
But the comments below the pictures belie that humble appearance. “Long live the king!” many write. “Even his eyebrows look like Queen Tamar’s,” wrote one fan, referring to the queen who reigned in the 12th and 13th centuries and is, in fact, Giorgi’s distant ancestor.
Georgia aspires to be part of Europe, and for its government that means European Union-style democracy. But a minority of Georgians want their country to follow an older European tradition by restoring their country’s millennium-old monarchy. And their hopes are riding on the little shoulders of Giorgi – or, as his Facebook page identifies him, Heir to the Royal Throne of Georgia, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Giorgi Bagration Bagrationi Mukhranbatonishvili.
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Tamar Kikacheishvili is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.