Happy Birthday Queen Lydia and How She Lost the Hawaiian Kingdom

Today, September 2nd, is the birthday observation of Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Kamakaʻeha, known commonly as Queen Lili’uokalani, who was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom. She was also the first and only female monarch of the kingdom.

Aloha Lā Hānau e Liliʻuokalani

Rare photo of the young Liliʻuokalani
Rare photo of the young Liliʻuokalani

When Kamehameha V died in 1872 with no heir, the 1864 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom called for the legislature to elect the next monarch. Following a non-binding referendum and subsequent unanimous vote in the legislature, Lunalilo became the first elected king of Hawai’i. Lunalilo died without an heir in 1874.

In the election that followed, Liliʻuokalani’s brother, David Kalākaua, ran against Emma, the dowager queen of Kamehameha IV. The choice of Kalākaua by the legislature, and the subsequent announcement, caused a riot at the courthouse.

This political division amongst the privileged elites in the island never healed, and led to the eventual takeover by Sanford Dole and supporters in 1893.

UPDATE 9.8.22: With the passing of Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, we can imagine how life in Hawai’i would be today had Queen Lili’uokalani not been greedy and power-hungry. The People in the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1887 demanded a new constitution from King Kalākaua. They were doing the work. The monarchy taxed the people, along with business and plantation owners, to pay for the kings, queens, princes, princesses and 1,000s of staff. The People wanted more control over the kingdom.

Queen Lili’uokalani said, “No!” The People said, “Then go!”


Native Hawaiians, called Kanaka Maoli, tell a distorted history today. Kamehameha I killed or murdered over 250,000+ Polynesians during his 30-year war campaign. At the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790 in the Iao Valley, Kamehameha used weapons of mass destruction to murder so many Maui Polynesians that the Iao river became blocked by dead bodies and waters ran red with Polynesian blood. Modern Kanaka spokespeople hide this horrid and tragic past.

Kanaka claim Kamehameha was “uniting” the kingdom. This rationale is used today by Russian President Violent Vlad as he murders Ukrainians. People are not united at the point of a gun.

Kamehameha Schools Teaches a False, Hurtful History

Kamehameha Schools Teaches a False, Hurtful History
Kamehameha Schools Teaches a False, Hurtful History
Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamaka‘eha was born on September 2, 1838 to Analea Keohokālole and Caesar Kapaʻakea. 

Immediately after her birth, Liliʻu was hānai by Laura Konia and Abner Pākī. Liliʻu was a scholar, philanthropist, and prolific and extraordinary composer.

Liliʻuokalani was named heir to the throne on April 11, 1877 and it was then that Kalākaua asked that she add “of the heavens/of the chiefs,”to her name so that her status as crown princess was recognized. She became queen upon his death and was sworn in on January 29, 1891.

Liliʻuokalani ruled during intense change. She worked to restore the powers of the monarchy. A coup supported by the US military removed her from the throne on January 17, 1893.

[NOTE: US military did not SUPPORT a coup. Kamehameha Schools teaches false history]

People of Hawaiʻi remained steadfast in support of their queen. Liliʻuokalani’s motto was “E ʻonipaʻa i ka ʻimi naʻauao," (Be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge). 

Given her leadership during some of the most challenging events facing the Kingdom and its peoples, it is often shortened to “Onipaʻa,” to stand firm. A short article published in the February 8, 1893 edition of the Hawaii Holomua affirmed “O ke aloha o ka lāhui ua onipaʻa,” “the love of the nation is steadfast.”

Let’s remember some of the queens accomplishments and related history provided by Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp

Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp remembers Queen Lili’uokalani

20 facts about Queen #Liliuokalani of Hawaiʻi

  1. She tried to found an all women’s bank.
  2. She come up with a microlending program for women.
  3. She believed in the right to vote for everyone, including women.
  4. Upon her death, all of her lands and personal belongings were sold to fund a trust for orphans and indigent kids.
  5. As Queen, she used the Throne Room to provide lectures to women about history, law, and science by other women.
  6. When pastors tried to ban Buddhist priests, she lobbied for acceptance. When the Buddhist priests held a celebration on Buddha’s birthday, she attended to show her support.
  7. She experienced racism first hand and was refused service in 4 NYC hotels for being “colored”.
  8. The Queen was fluent in Hawaiian and English, but also had been tutored in German.
  9. She supported unions and intervened with strikes in support of the workers.
  10. She sued the US for her Crown Lands but lost the case.
  11. She was the first Hawaiian female author to have published an autobiographical book, “Hawaiiʻs Story by Hawaiiʻs Queen”.
  12. She composed over 150 songs including “Aloha ʻOe”, “The Queen’s Prayer”, and the former national anthem, “He Mele Lāhui”.
  13. She met most of Europeʻs rulers during Queen Victoriaʻs Golden Jubilee.
  14. She was imprisoned in her own palace and the guards had to call her by a number.
  15. She sewed quilts and flags. She quilted a “crazy quilt” with details of her life while imprisoned in case she would be executed. Right before she passed in 1917, she sewed and donated a flag to the Hawaiʻi Red Cross.
  16. She was patron of the first homesteading association.
  17. She and her sister-in-law, Queen Kapiʻolani, sent funds to homesick and stranded Hawaiians in Utah and other places in the US to come home.
  18. She was a staunch supporter of St Damien of Molokaʻi which led to conflicts with her own pastor at the time.
  19. She had adopted kids.
  20. She was an accomplished pianist and organist at Kawaiahaʻo Church and later helped the music ministry at St. Andrew’s Cathedral when she became an Episcopalian.

Summarized History of the Hawaiian Kingdom

In 1778, British Captain Cook arrived on Kaua’i. In 1780, Kamehameha defied King Kalani’oapu’u, who choose his son for next king, and went to war for 30 years against Polynesians.

Kamehameha partnered with the British to acquire military strategy, long guns and cannons. Kamehameha used this technology and knowledge to MURDER Polynesians. Outsiders did not. Kamehameha formed HIS kingdom by killing Polynesians. Outsiders did not do this.

One battle on Maui witnessed so many dead Polynesians due to Kamehameha’s British cannons that the Iao river was blocked and water ran red. What a guy Kamehameha was!!! Life of murder and violence. He had a part in killing Captain Cook.

Kamehameha I Fought Over Land. Killing Polynesians. Dividing the People. The islands were Paradise. Why Kill Each Other?
Kamehameha I Fought Over Land. Killing Polynesians. Dividing the People. The islands were Paradise. Why Kill Each Other?

The Kanaka (Native Hawaiians) also recorded the FIRST crime in this history with outsiders by stealing one of Cook’s boats. Criminals and thieves! Cook was killed attempting to get British property returned.

After Kamehameha V, the Kamehameha dynasty ended. House of Kalākaua ascended to the throne. This political decision was bitterly contested. There was political infighting. In 1887, local people demanded David Kalākaua sign a new constitution.

Business and plantation owners were doing the work. The monarchy was taking from their profits. Kalākaua could have fought. Didn’t. He surrendered and accepted the new economic and political arrangement.

The monarchy assumed a ceremonial role, as we see in England today. Could have worked. Legislature would govern like a Parliament; monarchy would have influence, but not be the direct decider in government and business strategies.

Kanaka culture, tradition and customs would flourish, and Kalākaua thrived in this role … he immediately left to tour the world and recruit more labor and business to the islands. The monarchy invited millions of outsiders to Hawai’i until Kalākaua’s death in 1891.

In 1893, David’s sister, Lydia, threatened revolution and planned to undo the 1887 constitution. Those in power accused her of treason, and booted her from the ceremonial throne. They formed a provisional government.

In 1894, they held elections. Sanford Dole became president of the Republic of Hawai’i. Dole and supporters overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom — not the USA, as is commonly repeated wrongfully in the islands today. The 47+ nations that had recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom immediately recognized the new Republic of Hawai’i.

In 1895, Lydia formerly abdicated the throne to free friends and supporters who were being held for treason. The House of Kalākaua again surrendered!

In 1898, the USA turned the Republic of Hawai’i into a protected territory (along with Puerto Rico, Philippines and other islands). The Kanaka government had been unable to protect these islands from 500 local Honolulu Rifles.

U.S. officials were concerned how officials would fend off Russia, China, Japan or other nations. The USA had strategic and legal interest in Pearl Harbor. There was too much political infighting and instability in local government.

Disease ravaged the Kanaka population. About 600,000 lived in the islands in 1700; only about 25K-40K remained by 1900. Guns, Germs and Steel (Jared Diamond) changed the world due to Clash of Civilization.

In 1920, Kanaka Prince Jonah Kuhio called for Hawai’i statehood. In 1959, local people in Hawai’i voted to become the 50th USA state. Puerto Rico still maintains its independence. The Filipinos declared war against the USA in 1898 and earned their independence in 1946.

Elizabeth Keka’aniauokalani Laanui posted this Remembrance

Hau'oli Lā Hānau Queen Lili'uokalani
Hau’oli Lā Hānau Queen Lili’uokalani

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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Queen Lydia and How She Lost the Hawaiian Kingdom

  1. 1. There was no Kamehameha’s left to continue the throne. The Constitution of Hawaii article 22 states that the Nobles will choose an Alii that will be confirmed by the Crown Noble console which states that a male will be chosen first that’s why Kalakawa was chosen but people didn’t know their Constitution them and that’s why they riot. 2. When one of the royal twins call Kamehameha to his bedside and told him that his true father was King Kahekili, Kamehameh said why didn’t you tell me earlier I wouldn’t have killed my brothers, the Royal twins said if I told you there will be continuous War with your brothers and it was foreseen that you were to bring peace to all the Hawaiian Islands and they would be no more bloodshed between the Hawaiians people. The Hawaiians were warriors people were many Chiefs killed each other and many people. Kamehameha stopped all of that and there was no more killing in Hawaii so don’t use his conquering as murder to anger Hawaiians. 3. The voting as Dole to be President was done by just the Missionaries. Hawaii was a democracy Kingdom which was illegal for them to do to form an illegal government. 4. By International law the head of State when threatened by a more powerful Nation to protect its subject have the right to yield until all the facts are presented which was conducted and that her Kingdom was to be returned. Dole refused return the Kingdom and threaten the Queen if she didn’t yield to his Republican government that the lives of 600 Hawaiian prisoners were to be executed.The US as a protector Nation Under theVercie treaty of 1845 did not come to the Queen’s Aid when they illegally in prisoner her when it had military ships in Hawaii to remove the illegal Republican government which a US Minister was involved in the legal overthrow and that the United States participated and an illegal criminal conspiracy knowing it was accepting a stolen Kingdom and its people from the illegal Republican government in the illegal ceding to increase its military power in the Pacific and made Dole to be the governor of Hawaii so he could steal more land. The Queen did not lose Hawaii she did everything in her power to have Hawaii restored. 5. The Hawaiian was against Hawaii to be a State it a political move to empower a certain race of people in Hawaii and to cover up the wrong that was done by the United States of illegally possessing Hawaii. 6. It was illegal and by Royal protocol for King Kalakaua to make a decree to make his wife’s sister’s children to to be Prince of the Kingdom without the crowned Council approval and not accepted by the Hawaiian people we’re by the truth Prince and Princess of the Kingdom was his home brothers and sisters. 6.King Lunalilo was rightfully chosen by the Nobles and accepted by the Crown Council but Kalakaua insisted that his genealogy was higher. Kalakaua did not know his own genealogy because he had the wrong great-grandfather in King Lunalilo fathers Charles Kanaina probate case it was Eia that his sister found out later so King Lunalilo gave Kalakaua a chance to be King by the vote of the people and they chose King Lunalilo as their favorite King. Later by following the Constitution by Royal Protocol King Kalakaua chosen his Blood air his sister Queen Liliuakalani to be his successor. She was not voted in. The the true sovereign Nobles of Hawaii today are the Queen’s cousins who must be found to form a noble body so they can follow the Constitution and choose an Alii representatives who is highly educated and qualified and form a console of confirm membership body no you have a royal body of the Kingdom of Hawaii who can now under Royal protocol of international law filed for injuries that were committed by United States to the world Court and not by a subject who has no authority to do so only then we can bring United States to the world Court and restore Our Kingdom. The State body that runs the State of Hawaii who is voted in by the people will be the New Kingdom government and may be OHAwill be a body to to represent the Hawaiian pick it up pick it up pick it up and get up

    1. Mahalo Kanalo for the discussion. You point out over and over — ALL the mistakes by the monarchy! What a mess! How do you claim the monarchy should govern with all this confusion?
      (1) but people didn’t know their Constitution them and that’s why they riot.
      (2) why didn’t you tell me earlier I wouldn’t have killed my brothers
      (3) if I told you there will be continuous War with your brothers
      Consider the above statement: What was wrong with the Kanaka? Why continuous war? This is Paradise. No diamonds, gold, silver … just plenty fresh water, perfect weather, ample land and rich soil for crops, and an abundance of fish in the ocean. What kind of sick human males paddle 90 miles through treacherous ocean water in tiny canoes to murder their brothers and cousins?

      And after first contact with British Captain Cook in 1778, where was the Enlightened Leader who said, “Let’s unite against the outsiders. We should come together as one people to protect these islands.” There was none! All wanted to fight; none wanted to unite.

      People in the young USA in 1776, just two years earlier, joined VOLUNTARILY together in CONSENT of the governed … they threw off the yoke of a king. They wanted FREEDOM. In Hawai’i, these greedy, egotistical, and blood-thirsty males wanted to RULE others. And they killed innocent human beings to be king. They partnered with outsiders, traded land for weapons of mass destruction — and turned these weapons on each other. Kamehameha murdered or killed over 250,000+ Polynesians with his 30-years of war. Total barbarians!!!

      4. Hawaii was a democracy … no, it was a monarchy.
      5. By International law the head of State when threatened by a more powerful Nation to protect its subject have the right to yield until all the facts are presented which was conducted and that her Kingdom was to be returned. FALSE
      6. Dole refused return the Kingdom and threaten the Queen if she didn’t yield to his Republican government that the lives of 600 Hawaiian prisoners were to be executed. FALSE
      7. The US as a protector Nation Under the Vercie [Versailles] treaty of 1845 did not come to the Queen’s Aid. FALSE. The US was not a “protector nation” of Hawai’i. The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919.
      8. It was illegal and by Royal protocol for King Kalakaua to make a decree to make his wife’s sister’s children … yes, ILLEGAL. Confusion in the monarchy! Lack of stability.
      9. Kalakaua did not know his own genealogy … Monarchy in confusion! Political confusion! Lack of stability. Can’t run a kingdom under such conditions. Can’t run businesses and plantations. The confusion and lack of stability threatened the kingdom and people.

      CONCLUSION: The world just witnessed the death of Queen Elizabeth and ascension of King Charles III. The monarchy is respected and vibrant. The political arrangement in the Hawaiian Kingdom could have been similar to that of Great Britain today had Queen Lili’uokalani not threatened revolution and demanded more power for the monarchy.

      The 1887 Constitution, forced on King Kalakaua, created a political system similar to Great Britain. The monarchy would serve in a ceremonial role. The Legislature would govern, like British Parliament. The monarchy did not know how to operate plantations or various businesses that fueled the kingdom and provided the TAXES to fund the monarchy. The kings and queens had no money; they didn’t make money; they lived off the backs of ALL the people in Hawai’i who were doing the work. The Honolulu Rifles formed to prevent monarchs taking “too much” from the hard-working people!

      However, Queen Lili’uokalani was GREEDY. She wanted POWER and MORE MONEY !!! She had NO right to more power. She had NO right to demand more money! She lived off the hard work of the people! GREEDY and POWER HUNGRY — just as Kamehameha and rival chiefs were 100 years earlier. The Kanaka monarchs never stopped being greedy and power hungry.

      The Kanaka are not one people. They are a collections of tribes from many different Pacific islands. There has never been unity. There wasn’t unity when Cook arrived in 1778; not when the Kamehameha dynasty ended with #5; not with Lunalilo, Kalakaua or Lili’uokalani. There was constant fighting, bickering and instability.

      For any kingdom to continue and prosper, The People needed stability. The 1887 Constitution hoped to provide stability. King Kalakaua agreed. He signed the constitution and left to tour the world to recruit more business and workers to the islands. Queen Lili’uokalani did not agree — even with her own brother. She threatened to turn this political system upside down. She was arrested. Sanford Dole and followers came to power in 1894 as a result.

      And, in 1898, the USA pulled Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Hawai’i into their Protected Territorial sphere. The USA did not dictate the type of government. Puerto Rico remains a protected territory today; the Filipinos immediately declared war. This war raged from 1898-1946, and the Filipino people earned their independence. The Kanaka did not fight; did not go to war. And, in 1920, Kanaka Prince Jonah Kuhio called for US statehood, which finally occurred in 1959.

      Queen Lili’uokalani could have been like Queen Elizabeth — respected the world over, revered by millions, and a partner with the Legislature, but she refused the 1887 arrangement. She threatened revolution. Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha cost the Kanaka the monarchy and kingdom.

      GREED !!! The Kanaka were never able to form a government with the CONSENT of the governed. Good lesson for all people of the world. The People DEMAND to have a say in their government, to be represented, and to CONSENT to those who represent them. Kanaka officials brought millions of people to the islands to work; they demanded a voice in their government.

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