Royal Hawaiian Mint

Original Mint Masterpieces Since 1974

Princess Kaiulani

Princess Kaiulani

Princess Kaiulani (1875–1899) was named "Heir Apparent" to the Kingdom of Hawaii on her sixteenth birthday by her aunt, Queen Liliuokalani. While her future seemed bright, she never married and died a tragic death at the age of 23. The beautiful Princess is remembered for spreading Aloha wherever she went. Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn was heir to the Kingdom of Hawaii and held the title of Crown Princess. Kaiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence, beauty and determination. After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, she visited the United States to help restore the Kingdom. Although reluctant to participate in politics, she made many speeches and public appearances denouncing the overthrow of her country and the injustice toward the Hawaiian people. While Lorrin A. Thurston was touring the United States promoting the annexation of Hawaii, Kaiulani took action and traveled to Washington, D.C. where she made an informal visit to U.S. President Grover Cleveland and his wife. The pro-annexation press of the time often treated Kaiulani with contempt and referred to her as a half-breed. In 1897, Kaiulani returned to Hawaii. Now a private citizen of the Republic of Hawaii and on August 12, 1898 she became a citizen of the Territory of Hawaii. During the Annexation ceremony, Princess Kaiulani, Queen Liliuokalani and the royal family wore funeral attire in mourning for the loss of the Hawaiian’s own country. In 1899 while horseback riding on the Island of Hawaii, Kaiulani caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. Kaiulani returned to Oahu where she died on March 6, 1899 at the age of 23 of inflammatory rheumatism. Princess Kaiulani grew up with painters and writers and is lovingly remembered in music and dance by the people of Hawaii through mele, oli and hula.

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