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Brown Girl Royalty (Part III)

Sunday, February 27, 2011
I have to go to Kauai soon to scout out a location for one of my travel camp programs that will debut in the summer of 2012 and I can't wait!  And don't let me get a VIP pass to Ni'ihau (known as the Forbidden Island), because if I do, I'm all over it! 
Not only are the Hawaiian islands beautiful, but Hawaii is the only U.S. state that was once a kingdom with its own monarchy.  It's true!  The only real royal palaces in the United States are in Hawaii!  Several years ago, I actually visited Iolani Palace, which is a museum in downtown Honolulu and a National Historic Monument, and walked away from this tour more enamored with Hawaiian culture than ever before.  *Doing the hula*
Iolani Palace
From  The Iolani Palace was completed in 1882, during the reign of David Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii. It had electricity years before the White House did. The last royal to live there was Kalakaua's sister, Queen Liliuokalani, who abdicated in 1895 after the overthrow of the monarchy.
In 1898 Hawaii was annexed by the United States, and in 1900 it became a U.S. territory. On August 21, 1959 it became the 50th American state.
Queen Liliʻuokalani (1838-1917), born Lydia Kamakaʻeha Kaola Maliʻi Liliʻuokalani, was the last monarch and only reigning queen of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and her life was quite interesting and equally as complicated.
Her parents were High Chiefess Analea Keohokalole and High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaʻakea; however, based on the Hawaiian tradition of hānai (a Native Hawaiian adoption practice), she was adopted at birth by High Chief Abner Pākī and his wife Hawaiian princess Laura Kōnia. Her niece was Princess Kaʻiulani.  I wrote a Spotlight on One Brown Girl post about her and I've stayed at the Sheraton Princess Ka'iulani  in Honolulu which - like this post and this movie - is also dedicated to her memory.

Liliʻuokalani later married American John Owen Dominis, who ultimately became Governor of Oʻahu and Maui and my readings indicate that they didn't have a happy marriage nor did they have any children together. (After reading Dominis' bio, I kinda wonder if he was an opportunist.) Either way, Liliuokalani was appointed Crown Princess in 1877 by her brother David Kalākaua who was the last reigning king in the Kingdom of Hawaii. She inherited the throne from her brother, but the Kingdom was overthrown by a group of Americans, Europeans and Hawaiians called the Committee of Safety in 1893. In 1993, 100 years after the overthow, the U.S. government apologized for U.S. participation in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. What a remarkable time. What a remarkable life.



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