Qajar dynasty

The Qajar dynasty (About this sound ; Persian: سلسله قاجارSelsele-ye Qājār;[a]) was an Iranian[1] royal dynasty of Turkic origin,[2][3][4][5] specifically from the Qajar tribe, ruling over Iran from 1789 to 1925.[6][7] The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease,[8] putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects.[9] In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas[10] to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.[11]

The Qajar Imperial Family in exile is currently headed by the eldest descendant of Mohammad Ali Shah, Sultan Mohammad Ali Mirza Qajar, while the Heir Presumptive to the Qajar throne is Mohammad Hassan Mirza II, the grandson of Mohammad Hassan Mirza, Sultan Ahmad Shah's brother and heir. Mohammad Hassan Mirza died in England in 1943, having proclaimed himself shah in exile in 1930 after the death of his brother in France.

Today, the descendants of the Qajars often identify themselves as such and hold reunions to stay socially acquainted through the Kadjar (Qajar) Family Association,[14] often coinciding with the annual conferences and meetings of the International Qajar Studies Association (IQSA). The Kadjar (Qajar) Family Association was founded for a third time in 2000. Two earlier family associations were stopped because of political pressure. The offices and archives of IQSA are housed at the International Museum for Family History in Eijsden.

The shah and his consort were styled Imperial Majesty. Their children were addressed as Imperial Highness, while male-line grandchildren were entitled to the lower style of Highness; all of them bore the title of Shahzadeh or Shahzadeh Khanoum.[15]

The headship of the Imperial Family is inherited by the eldest male descendant of Mohammad Ali Shah.