Honoring a Princess: ‘It is so very, very important to remember her as Hawaii’s hope’

Local News

Waikiki was the scene of a celebration marking the birthday of a Hawaiian monarch.

Princess Kaʻiulani was named heir to the throne after her aunt, Liliʻuokalani became queen.

But with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, Kaʻiulani was never able to assume the throne.

The Princess died in 1899.

“It is to give us a physical presence of our ali’i, the Princess Kaʻiulani who was called Hawaii’s hope. She was called that because she was the only child born to the Kalakaua dynasty,” said Coline Aiu, President of the Hawaiian Society.

The half-Scottish Princess, born Victoria Cleghorn, also represented the changing ethnicity of the islands.

“She was lovely, she was gentle, she was hapa-Hawaiian and at that time, in 1875, Hawaii was changing,” said Aiu.

Year after year, Princess Ka’iulani’s birthday is celebrated with a lei draping ceremony at her statue on Ka’iulani Avenue.

“It’s important to remember the stories, remember the stories of our kupuna, remember the stories of the places that exist because this connects us to the land. It is our home, it is our beginning, it is our foundation,” said Aiu.

Princess Kaiulani passed away at the age of 23, after falling ill from a cold.

Aiu hopes to continue to spread the legacy of Ka’iulani for many years to come.

“It is so very, very important to remember her as Hawaii’s hope and remind the youth that it is their kuleana to paipai our Hawaii and to keep moving forward,” said Aiu.

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