Above, the Throne Room of the Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii. Last week, I tried to give a capsule version of how Hawaii developed its monarchy, which continued from 1810 to 1893. It was in the last two decades that the Iolani Palace was built and lived in by the monarch.
David, King Kalakaua (1836-1891) was chosen King in 1874. chosen. He was educated with the sons of chiefs, spoke fluent English, had a lively interest in science, and affection for native Hawaiian cultures He traveled in the US and Europe, spending time in London where he was received and entertained by Queen Victoria. Above portrayed in 1891 by artist William Cogswell, he wears the decorations awarded him by the rulers of six major nations.
The Grand Hall and Staircase in Iolani Palace. The ground floor was used for social gatherings. Below, the State Dining Room. Remember to click on the images for larger versions.
Above, the Blue Room, used for smaller receptions and entertainments. The Hawaiian Royal Family traveled extensively and visited with royalty all over the world.
Above and below, the King's office and Library.
Below, the Upper Hall,
Below, the King's Bedroom. The feathered standard on the left of the bed is a traditional symbol of Hawaiian royalty.
Above, the King had the latest technological advances installed: plumbing, telephone, and electricity. Below, the Queen's bedchamber.
Above, the Gold or Music Room. Note the gifted elephant tusks and the portrait of Queen Kapi'olani.
Queen Lili'uokalani (1838-1917), sister of King Kalakaua, succeeded her brother after his death in 1891. Lili'uokalalni was an artist and poet, and composed many songs, often based on traditional island themes. She was widely traveled and represented the King at Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in London in 1887. However, within a few years of both internal and external difficulties, she was forced to give up "...administration of Hawaii to a pro-annexation group Honolulu businessmen who promptly formed a Provisional Government," in the words of the palace guidebook.
Above, the Coat of Arms of the Hawaiian Kingdom. After attempts to re-form the monarchy failed, in 1895, the Queen was tried and imprisoned in her former palace, which was then known as the executive building of the Republic of Hawaii. Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States of America in 1959. The Royal Family's descendants and many others work hard to honor and support native culture and traditional customs.
The Queen was held in one of the upstairs bedroom for almost eight months before she was released. This quilt is displayed in the Imprisonment Room; quilting was one of the pastimes with which she occupied herself while in custody. Later she divided her time between homes in the U.S. and Honolulu.
On the grounds of the Iolani Palace is the Coronation Pavilion, constructed in 1883, and now used for band concerts and as a center for public celebrations. Below, the Palace as it stands today, under the care of Friends and the State of Hawaii, and open to the public.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author