The tragic life of the last Hawaiian princess: Full of talent but buried after a prophecy, must die in anger without honor

Hawaii: The state that was once a kingdom

Few people know that before 1893, Hawaii was still an independent kingdom. It was ruled by the Kalākaua dynasty, ruled by Queen Liliʻuokalani (1838 – 1917).

The tragic life of the last Hawaiian princess: Full of talent but buried after a prophecy, had to die in anger without a name - Photo 1.

Before becoming the 50th US state, Hawaii was an independent emirate

According to anthropologists, the first people to discover and exploit the Hawaiian Islands was Polynesia. They crossed the sea here around 300. After 1000 years of habitation, the Polynesians were invaded by the Tahitians, exterminating to the last member.

Initially, the Tahitian people built small villages. Between the villages and the islands, there was constant war, looting each other. It was not until 1795, under the leadership of Kamehameha the Great (1758-1819), that they unified and established the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The Kamehameha family ruled Hawaii until 1872, when the dynasty ended. Next they were the Kalākaua family. In the first half of the twentieth century, Hawaii was under Emperor Kalākaua (1936 – 1891).

Kalākaua had 1 older sister and 1 younger sister, Liliʻuokalani (1838 – 1917) and Likelike (1851 – 1887). Likelike is the only one of the three brothers to have children, her little princess is Kaʻiulani.

In 1887, Likelike became seriously ill. Before she died, she dreamed of a huge school of blood red fish, swimming as thick as the blood of the Hawaiian coast. Likelike for this is a bad point, signaling a girl’s life will only be full of unhappiness. She prophesied painfully, Kaʻiulani could neither ascend to the throne nor marry.

Perfect princess, full of talent

The tragic life of the last Hawaiian princess: Full of talent but buried after a prophecy, had to die in anger without a name - Photo 2.

Portrait of Princess Kaʻiulani (1875 – 1899)

In 1889, Kalākaua decided to send Kaʻiulani to England to study. He and Liliʻuokalani are well aware of the Western influence in life on the islands, believing this step is necessary to lay the groundwork for their granddaughter’s future succession.

Despite being young and abroad, Kaʻiulani displayed her talent and perfect princess demeanor. The girl is not only excellent in all subjects, but also good at sports, knowledgeable in the arts. At the age of 15, Kaʻiulani was praised by Scottish writer – Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894) as “the Hawaiian rose”.

The tragic life of the last Hawaiian princess: Full of talent, but buried after a prophecy, had to die in anger without a name - Photo 3.

Since childhood, Kaʻiulani has been more talented than anyone

On January 20, 1891, Kalākaua suddenly died. Liliʻuokalani originally wanted to let Kaʻiulani study abroad for 4 years (ie until 1893), but was forced to recalculate. After ascending the throne, she wrote a letter to call Kaʻiulani to come back and support the country. At this time, Kaʻiulani was only 16 years old. She worries that she is still not strong enough to help the queen and still wants to continue her studies. Liliʻuokalani agreed to let Kaʻiulani stay in England.

In order not to disappoint Liliʻuokalani, Kaʻiulani actively studied and participated in diplomatic activities. She is confident that only 2 more years, when she turns 18 and graduates from the courses, she will return to Hawaii, fulfilling her duties as the only princess and heir to the crown.

Poor victim of the times

In fact, the main reason why Kalākaua had to send his niece to study abroad was pressure from the Commission of Safety (COS) – a pro-American political group in Hawaii. After its establishment in 1887, COS continuously harassed and plotted to overthrow the Kalākaua family.

Using the excuse that the feudal way of governing was outdated, Lorrin A. Thurston (1858 – 1931) – the head of the COS called for reform and a coup. He successfully forced Kalākaua to come to the negotiating table, only accepting Kaʻiulani to inherit the throne if she was “qualified”.

The tragic life of the last Hawaiian princess: Full of talent but buried after a prophecy, had to die in anger without a name - Photo 4.

Lorrin A. Thurston (1858 – 1931)

In January 1893, while Kaʻiulani was still studying in England, COS overthrew the Kalākaua family. On news, Kaʻiulani issued a press release, accusing Thurston of breaking his word and going to the United States “to ask the great America to return its sovereignty”.

In the US, this 18-year-old princess was received by Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), the current President. After listening to her presentation, Cleveland expressed sympathy, announced to review everything and advised Kaʻiulani to temporarily not rush to Hawaii.

President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) met and promised to return the Hawaiian throne to Kaʻiulani, but did not fulfill it.

For the next five years, Kaʻiulani patiently waited for an answer from the White House. Because she had lost the throne, she also had no property or money, and had to live in poverty.

On August 12, 1898, the United States announced the annexation of Hawaii, ranking the number 50 states. “Losing the throne is bad enough, losing the flag is worse than that,” – Kaʻiulani is desperate and full of resentment. She and Liliʻuokalani wore mourning clothes and protested.

For the next half year, Kaʻiulani called and protested for the kingship and the throne everywhere. The US did not care about her actions, and Hawaii gradually got used to the new government. Pain and hopelessness drained Kaʻiulani. In the midst of the tribulation, the people closest to her died one after another.

The tragic life of the last Hawaiian princess: Full of talent but buried after a prophecy, had to die in anger without a name - Photo 6.

Despite his efforts and temperament, Kaʻiulani never got a chance to show off

On March 6, 1899, Kaʻiulani took his last breath in illness. She is only 23 years old, has never been crowned queen and is still single.

Refer to Atlasobscura

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