Aloha Authentic: King Lunalilo was the first elected king in Hawaiʻi

Local News

The founder and first king of the Hawaiian Kingdom was a man who was prophesied to do so before his birth, King Kamehameha the Great. 

His reign ended in 1819 to be followed by his two sons and two grandsons, all who took on the name King Kamehameha by inheritance. 

Because King Kamehameha V failed to name an heir to the throne before his passing, the first legislative election was held in 1873 to elect a new monarch. 

The race was between William Charles Lunalilo and David Laʻamea Kalākaua. 

By a great majority vote, Lunalilo came out victorious and became King Lunalilo, the 6th sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but the first to be elected. 

Nicknamed “The People’s King,” he was dearly loved by all and very popular. 

However, his reign was short lived as he passed after being king for only 13 months. 

Because he also failed to name his successor, another election was held which would bring Kalākaua to victory.

Did you know? Now you do!

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