|Birth Day:||October 16, 1875|
|Birth Place:||Honolulu, United States|
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She grew up in Waikiki, on ten acres of land gifted to her by her grandmother, and was studying and living in Europe when her aunt, Queen Liliuokalani, was deposed.
Kaʻiulani was the only child of Princess Miriam Likelike and Scottish businessman Archibald Scott Cleghorn. She was born in a downstairs bedroom of her parent's Emma Street mansion in Honolulu, on October 16, 1875, during the reign of her uncle King Kalākaua. Her birth was announced by gun salutes and the ringing of all of the bells in the city's churches. At the time of her birth, she became fourth in line of succession to the throne, moving to third in the line of succession upon the death of her uncle Leleiohoku II in 1877. She had three older half-sisters: Rose Kaipuala, Helen Maniʻiailehua, and Annie Pauahi, from her father's previous union with a Hawaiian woman.
She was christened by Bishop Alfred Willis, on December 25, 1875, at the Pro-Cathedral of St. Andrew's Anglican Cathedral in Honolulu. This was the first christening of a princess since the birth of Victoria Kamāmalu in 1838. The baby Kaʻiulani, clad in a "cashmere robe, embroidered with silk", was reported to have "behaved with the utmost respect" and did "not utter a sound during the service". Kalākaua, his wife Queen Kapiʻolani, and Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani, stood as her godparents. Captain Henri Berger, the leader of the Royal Hawaiian Band, composed the "Kaʻiulani March" in her honor. Princess Ruth gifted Kaʻiulani with land at Waikiki, 4 miles (6.4 km) from Honolulu, which combined with adjacent lands previously purchased in 1872 by Cleghorn to form ʻĀinahau. Her mother Likelike named it ʻĀinahau (cool place) after the cool winds blowing down from the Manoa Valley. Her father relocated the family to the country estate in 1878 when Kaʻiulani was three years old. Cleghorn planted a large botanical garden on the grounds of the estate, including a banyan tree, known as Kaʻiulani's banyan. Kaʻiulani's mother Princess Likelike died at age 36 on February 2, 1887, officially of unknown causes. Her doctors had believed in vain that she could have been cured with proper nourishment. Upon the death of her mother, when Kaʻiulani was eleven years old, she inherited the estate.
During his 1881 world tour, Kalākaua held a secret meeting with Emperor Meiji and proposed to unite the two nations in an alliance with an arranged marriage between his 5-year-old niece Kaʻiulani and the 13-year-old Prince Yamashina Sadamaro. From extant letters to the king, both by Prince Sadamaro, upon the advice of his father, and by Japanese foreign minister Inoue Kaoru declined the proposal on behalf of the government of Japan. In February 1893, the Japanese Imperial Navy gunboat Naniwa was docked at Pearl Harbor with the Japanese prince on board. Rumors circulated in the American press that the Japanese considered intervening militarily.
From a young age, governesses and private tutors educated Kaʻiulani starting with a British woman, Marion Barnes, from 1879 until her early death of pneumonia in 1884, and then an American woman, Gertrude Gardinier, who became her favorite governess. After Gardinier's marriage in 1887, her governesses included a French woman, Catalina de Alcala or D'Acala, and a German woman, Miss Reiseberg, with whom Kaʻiulani did not develop as strong a bond. Her governesses taught her reading, writing letters (often to relatives), music practices and social training. She also read biographies about her namesake, Queen Victoria.
Kalākaua championed future Hawaiian leaders attaining a broader education with his 1880 Hawaiian Youths Abroad program. His niece Kaʻiulani was the first Hawaiian royal to study abroad. The Hawaiian government sent her cousins David Kawānanakoa (known as Koa), Edward Abnel Keliʻiahonui and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole to attend Saint Matthew's School in the United States in 1885. Keliʻiahonui died young in 1887 while Kawānanakoa and Kūhiō traveled to England in 1890 to finish their education a few months after Kaʻiulani's own departure for an education abroad.
When Kaʻiulani was born, kerosene lamps provided Honolulu's street lighting. During Kalākaua's 1881 world tour, he visited Thomas Edison who gave him a demonstration of electric light bulbs. Iolani Palace led the way in and installed the first electric lighting in Hawaii in 1886. The public was invited to attend the first-night lighting ceremonies. The Royal Hawaiian Band entertained, refreshments were served, and the king, on horseback, paraded his troops around the grounds. When Honolulu finally electrified all its street lighting, the honor of throwing the switch at the Nuʻuanu generators to light up the city fell to 12-year-old Kaʻiulani on Friday, March 23, 1888.
Months after the death of Kaʻiulani's mother, Likelike, political unrest gripped Hawaii. Local businessmen accused Kalākaua's cabinet under Prime Minister Walter Murray Gibson of influence peddling in elections and manipulation of legislative governance. Although the Gibson cabinet was replaced by the Reform Cabinet, the business community remained dissatisfied. The Committee of Thirteen business men under the leadership of Lorrin A. Thurston, drafted what became known as the Bayonet Constitution, codifying the legislature as the supreme authority over the monarchy's actions. Thurston is believed to have been the principal author of the new constitution. Presented to Kalākaua for his signature on July 6, 1887, it limited the power of the monarchy and increased the influence of Euro-American interests in the government.
Kaʻiulani was a painter who enjoyed the company of other artists. While under Davies' guardianship, she sent some of her paintings of England home to Hawaii. When Kalakaua was ill in his final year, she sent a painting to cheer him up. Her few surviving paintings are found in Hawaii. She was acquainted with Joseph Dwight Strong, a landscape painter in the court of Kalākaua, and Isobel Osbourne Strong, a lady-in-waiting to Likelike. Isobel's stepfather was Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. In June 1888, Stevenson chartered the yacht Casco and set sail with his family from San Francisco. The poet spent nearly three years in the eastern and central Pacific, stopping for extended stays at the Hawaiian Islands, where he became a good friend of King Kalākaua and Ka'iulani. Stevenson and the princess often strolled at ʻĀinahau and sat beneath its banyan tree. Prior to her departure, Stevenson composed a poem for her. Stevenson later wrote to his friend Will Hicok Low, "If you want to cease to be Republican, see my little Kaiulani, as she goes through [the United States]." Historian A. Grove Day noted, "Of all his island friendships, the platonic affair with the half-Scottish princess has most persisted in the imagination of lovers of Hawaiiana."
After the death of her mother, Likelike, Kaʻiulani became second in line to the throne, after her aunt Liliʻuokalani. She would become the heir apparent after the death of her uncle Kalākaua and the accession of Liliʻuokalani. In 1889, it was deemed appropriate to send Kaʻiulani to England for a proper education and remove her from the intrigues and unrest between Kalākaua and his political opponents. Cleghorn, Kalākaua and allegedly Lorrin A. Thurston, who served as Minister of the Interior, made the plans to send Kaʻiulani abroad. Thurston later denied involvement in the decision.
Leaving Honolulu on May 10, 1889, the travel party included her half-sister Annie, and the wife of Thomas R. Walker, the British vice-consul to Hawaii, as their chaperone. Cleghorn accompanied his daughters to San Francisco before returning to Hawaii. They traveled across the United States by train, stopping briefly at Chicago and New York before sailing to England. They landed in Liverpool on June 17, after a month-long journey. After Kaʻiulani's guardian Mrs. Walker returned to Hawaii, Kaʻiulani and Annie were placed under the guardianship of Theo H. Davies and his wife Mary Ellen. Davies was a British citizen and owner of Theo H. Davies & Co., one of the Big Five leading sugar firms operating in Hawaii. During school holidays, Kaʻiulani stayed at Sundown, the Davies' residence in Hesketh Park, Southport.
By September, Kaʻiulani and Annie were sent to Northamptonshire and enrolled at Great Harrowden Hall, a boarding school for young girls, under the elderly schoolmistress Caroline Sharp. After the first academic year, Annie returned to Hawaii to marry leaving Kaʻiulani alone at the school. Sharp noted that Kaʻiulani continued "making good progress in her studies" despite the separation. Kaʻiulani proudly wrote home that she was third in her French class. The Bishop of Leicester confirmed her in the Anglican faith in May 1890. In the summer of 1891, her father visited her, and they toured the British Isles and visited the Cleghorn's ancestral land in Scotland.
During her absence, much turmoil occurred back in Hawaii. Kalākaua traveled to California on November 25, 1890, to visit friends, and hoping to improve his deteriorating health. His condition declined rapidly, and he died in San Francisco on January 20, 1891. Kaʻiulani learned of her uncle's death by the next day through the Transatlantic telegraph cables while news did not reach Hawaii until January 29, when the Charleston returned to Honolulu with the king's remains. Liliʻuokalani ascended immediately to the throne. On March 9, with the approval of the House of Nobles, and as required by the Hawaiian constitution, Liliʻuokalani appointed her niece Kaʻiulani as her heir apparent and eventual successor to the throne. The Queen's staff then rode through the streets of Honolulu announcing the proclamation, while gun salutes were fired from both the artillery battery and the American vessels Mohican and Iroquois in Honolulu Harbor.
Davies persuaded her family to remove Kaʻiulani from Great Harrowden Hall in early 1892 to attend a finishing school to prepare her for society. By February, Kaʻiulani moved to Hove, Brighton, where she was placed in the care of Phebe Rooke who set up private tutors and a curriculum that included German, French, English, literature, history, music and singing. This village by the sea pleased her, and she holidayed in late April and early May at Saint Helier in the Channel Island of Jersey with her host.
Prior to the 1893 overthrow, Kaʻiulani had been allocated an annual pension by the Hawaiian government. As a member of the royal family, she had received $5000 annually from the civil list between 1882 and 1888, $4,800 between 1888 and 1892 and $10,000 as heir apparent to the throne in 1892. Archibald Cleghorn had also been supported from the Hawaiian civil list through his governmental positions. These sources of income ended after the overthrow.
The prospect of returning to Hawaii renewed her enthusiasm for her studies. Plans were made for her return to Hawaii by the end of 1893, with the Hawaiian legislature appropriating $4,000 for her travel expenses. This trip would mark her entrance in society as the heir-apparent to the throne. There were arrangements for an audience with Queen Victoria, followed by a tour of Europe and a possible visit to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In anticipation, Kaʻiulani wrote to her aunt Liliʻuokalani, "I am looking forward to my return next year. I am beginning to feel very homesick." However, following the overthrow on January 17, 1893, these plans were cancelled, and she went to New York.
The Committee of Safety, under the leadership of Thurston, met for two days in the final planning of the overthrow, and unanimously selected Sanford B. Dole to carry out the logistics. He put forth what he believed was a more reasonable immediate plan of action, a possible outcome that had been discussed by others in the kingdom, "...that the Queen be deposed and Princess Kaʻiulani be installed as queen, and that a regency be established to govern the country during her minority..." In fact, Cleghorn had also directly approached Thurston shortly before the overthrow, with the exact same proposition. Thurston reiterated what he had already told Cleghorn, that the committee had no interest in dealing with a future monarchy in any form, and rejected the plan outright. The Provisional Government of Hawaii was proclaimed by President Sanford B. Dole on January 17, 1893.
From 1893 until her death, rumors of whom Kaʻiulani would wed circulated in the American and Hawaiian press, and on one occasion she was pressured by Queen Liliʻuokalani to marry. When Clive Davies, son of Kaʻiulani's guardian Theo H. Davies, was a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1893, he was rumored to be Kaʻiulani's fiancé. Although the princess had stayed with the family occasionally while she was in England, her father said there was no engagement between the two young people and the rumors were "absurd and preposterous". In spite of the denial, the rumors persisted for a time. However, Clive was engaged to Edith Fox, daughter of civil engineer Francis Fox, between 1896 and 1898 while he resided in Honolulu and handled his father's business. Another rumor, which circulated after Kaʻiulani's return to Hawaii, said she was to marry Clive's brother George Davies. Members of Kaʻiulani's household denied this.
Accustomed to the life of a Victorian society woman, Kaʻiulani preferred her new life. Writing to her father on June 10, 1894, she expressed her sadness at the change in Hawaii and asked him to consider a life abroad in Europe. After the 1895 royalist counter-revolution, he agreed. While they were abroad, the news of the March 6, 1897 death of her half-sister Annie impacted both Kaʻiulani and Cleghorn.
Kaʻiulani knew little about financial management and had no means to repay her benefactors. As her funding ran out, she wondered if the Provisional Government would give her an allowance. Her father had no means to support her, so both were dependent upon the generosity of others. Davies was a hard-nosed businessman who had risen from working-class parents, to make a fortune in Hawaii's sugar plantation business. While he agreed to assist with the finances, he took the princess to task for her careless spending in 1894, "I am disappointed in what you say about money matters because I have always been disagreeably plain about them ... You have the chance to be a heroine but unless you exercise resolution and self control ... we shall all fail". He cautioned that any funding from the Provisional Government obligated her to support their cause. He tried to get Kaʻiulani to re-focus on the goal ahead regarding Hawaii, but she wanted to be in charge of her own destiny. Stress from her financial situation had an adverse effect on her mental and physical health, and she fell into an emotional drift.
On January 29, 1894, when Kaʻiulani was nineteen, Liliʻuokalani wrote asking her to consider marrying either Prince David Kawānanakoa, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, or an unnamed Japanese prince (then studying in London). She reminded her, "To you then depends the hope of the Nation and unfortunately we cannot always do as we like." It took five months for Kaʻiulani to respond to Liliʻuokalani's suggestion. In a June 22, 1894, letter Kaʻiulani asserted that she would prefer to marry for love unless it was necessary stating, "I feel it would be wrong if I married a man I did not love." Based on personal letters and letters by her friends, many suitors courted Kaʻiulani while she resided in England and Europe. Prior to her return to Hawaii in November 1897, Kaʻiulani confided in her friend Toby de Courcy that she would have to end her courtship with one of her "young men" because there was an arranged marriage waiting for her in Hawaii. She further hinted that the union, approved by her father and Theo H. Davies, was being kept secret for political reasons. She lamented, "I must have been born under an unlucky star as I seem to have my life planned out for me in such a way that I cannot alter it." Historian Marilyn Stassen-McLaughlin and biographer Sharon Linnea could not identify the gentleman behind the secret union from the primary sources, but conjectured it was Kawānanakoa because he was the only likely candidate for a political union after Kūhiō had married in 1896.
From August 1895 to October 1897, she and her father assumed the lives of itinerant aristocrats traveling across Europe and the British Isles. They stayed in the French Riviera, Paris, and on the island of Jersey, as well as England, and Scotland. Kaʻiulani was treated as royalty in the French Riviera where they wintered each year and made friends, including Nevinson William (Toby) de Courcy, an English aristocrat who corresponded with her over the next three years and saved her letters until his death.
According to a letter written to Liliʻuokalani dated to June 22, 1894, in which she declined an arranged marriage, she mentioned that she had rejected a proposal by an "enormously rich German Count". She was connected to two other suitors in 1898: Captain Putnam Bradlee Strong, an American officer en route to fight in the Spanish–American War in Manilla and Andrew Adams, a New England-born journalist for The Pacific Commercial Advertiser whom her father favored. In 1895, The Evening Republican reported a rumor that Kaʻiulani was to marry Rudolph Spreckels, the son of sugar magnate Claus Spreckels. A posthumous report in The Butte Daily Post, after Kaʻiulani's death, connected her to James G. Blaine, Jr, son of former United States Secretary of State James G. Blaine.
Between 1896 and 1897, she divulged her plans to return to Hawaii in two candid letters written to her friend Toby de Courcy. In the first letter, written in the fall of 1896 from Rozel, Jersey, she confided in him that a secret engagement was arranged and she was expected to return in April of the following year. In a subsequent letter dated July 4 from Tunbridge Wells, she explained to Toby that she would visit her aunt Liliʻuokalani in the United States. The decision to return to Hawaii was still undecided at this point. Kaʻiulani added that, "If I went over to see my Aunt I would only stay about Three [sic] weeks there and return again here (Europe)", although Davies "may think it advisable for me to return home the end of this winter". By August and September, Kaʻiulani and her father were making farewell calls to friends, hiring an Irish maid, Mary O'Donell, to assist her and preparing for their return to Hawaii.
During these years, Kaʻiulani began to have recurring illnesses, writing her aunt Liliʻuokalani that she'd had "the grip" (influenza) seven times while living abroad. She also complained of headaches, weight loss, eye problems and fainting spells. A migraine episode in Paris on May 4, 1897, prevented her from attending the Bazar de la Charité, which caught fire and killed a number of French noble women including the Duchess of Alençon. Growing expenses also exacerbated Cleghorn's drained financial status, and he wrote to Liliʻuokalani, asking for assistance.
Kaʻiulani felt duty-bound to her family in Hawaii, especially her ailing aunt, the Dowager Queen Kapiʻolani. However, the princess was weary of her uncertain future as a former royal and was reluctant to accept the prospect of an arranged marriage back home. She was also growing accustomed to life abroad. Despite her misgivings, the changing political situation in Hawaii called her home in 1897. On June 16, Cleveland's successor President William McKinley presented the United States Senate with a new version of the annexation treaty to incorporate the Republic of Hawaii into the United States. Liliʻuokalani filed an official protest with Secretary of State John Sherman. Hawaiians against annexation coalesced, including the political entity Hui Kālaiʻāina which ran petition drives to oppose annexation.
Kaʻiulani and her father Cleghorn sailed from Southampton to New York on October 9, 1897. After a brief stay at the Albemarle Hotel in New York, the two traveled to Washington, DC, to pay their respects to Queen Liliʻuokalani, who was staying at Ebbett House in the US capital to lobby against annexation. Afterward, Kaʻiulani and Cleghorn took a train heading west and reached San Francisco on October 29 where they stayed at the Occidental Hotel. During her travels across the United States, many journalists interviewed her, although her father made sure to shield her from topics of politics. Many detractors of the monarchy had painted a negative image of Hawaiians, especially of Kaʻiulani and her aunt Liliʻuokalani. However, interviews with the Hawaiian princess dispelled these rumors. A journalist of San Francisco's The Examiner wrote, "A barbarian princess? Not a bit of it ..Rather the very flower — an exotic — of civilization. The Princess Kaʻiulani is a charming, fascinating individual." According to historian Andrea Feeser, the contemporary portrayals of Kaʻiulani were "shaped by race and gender stereotypes, and although they aimed to be favorable, they granted her no authority" with emphasis placed on her Caucasian features, Victorian manners, feminine fragility and exoticism.
Family lore also conflicts over the exact nature of her relationship with Kawānanakoa. Kaʻiulani's niece Mabel Robertson Lucas (daughter of her sister Rose) said that the two cousins were close but only like siblings. Nancy and Jean Francis Webb's 1962 biography of Kaʻiulani says that Kawānanakoa's eventual wife, Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa, told an unnamed biographer or close friend that "of course I never could have married David if Kaʻiulani had lived". The Bishop Museum collection has a number of jewels owned by Kaʻiulani, including a diamond and aquamarine necklace given to her by Queen Kapiʻolani in 1897, in honor of her engagement to an unnamed suitor. Kaʻiulani replaced the chain attaching the gems with strands of small pearls.
At her christening, she was named Victoria Kawēkiu Kaʻiulani Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Cleghorn. In 1898, her aunt Liliʻuokalani wrote it as Victoria Kaʻiulani, Kalaninuiahilapalapa, Kawēkiu i Lunalilo or Victoria Kawēkiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kaʻiulani Cleghorn in her memoir Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen. Kaʻiulani was named after her maternal aunt Anna Kaʻiulani who died young, and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, whose help restored the sovereignty and independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom during the reign of Kamehameha III. Her primary Hawaiian name comes from ka ʻiu lani which means "the highest point of heaven" or "the royal sacred one" in the Hawaiian language. Kawēkiu means "the highest rank or station". At the request of Charles Kanaʻina, she was also given the name Lunalilo, translated as Luna (high) lilo (lost) or "so high up as to be lost to sight", after Kanaʻina's son and her uncle King Kalākaua's predecessor King Lunalilo (r. 1873–74) to strengthen her eligibility for the throne. The name Kalaninuiahilapalapa signified her association with the royal house of Keawe (traditional rulers of the island Hawaii) and the flames of the torch that burns at midday, a symbol of kapu, used by the House of Kalākaua from their ancestor Iwikauikaua.
The Hawaiian Red Cross Society was formed in June 1898, with Mrs. Harold M. Sewall as its president. Her husband was the United States Minister to the Republic. First Lady of the Republic Anna Prentice Cate Dole was selected as first vice-president, and Kaʻiulani was second vice-president. It is unclear if the princess had given her consent to be named as part of the committee, but she did not attend the subsequent meeting of the officers.
In the United States Senate, McKinley's annexation treaty failed to pass after months without a vote. However, following the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, Hawaii was annexed in any event via the Newlands Resolution, a joint resolution of Congress, on July 4, 1898. With the impending annexation of Hawaii only weeks away and Liliʻuokalani still in Washington, DC, Hawaii wanted to show its support of US troops heading to the Pacific theater of the war. If nothing else, the harbor traffic meant income for the local businesses. Cleghorn and Kaʻiulani issued an open invitation for visiting American troops to stay at ʻĀinahau, although it was more likely solely her father's idea. She wrote to Liliʻuokalani, "I am sure you would be disgusted if you could see the way the town is decorated for the American troops. Honolulu is making a fool of itself and I only hope we won't be ridiculed."
The annexation ceremony was held on August 12, 1898, at the former ʻIolani Palace, now being used as the executive building of the government. President Dole handed over "the sovereignty and public property of the Hawaiian Islands" to United States minister Harold M. Sewall. The flag of the Republic of Hawaii was lowered, and the flag of the United States was raised in its place. "When the news of Annexation came it was bitterer than death to me," Kaʻiulani told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was bad enough to lose the throne, but infinitely worse to have the flag go down ...". Liliʻuokalani with Kaʻiulani, their family members and retainers boycotted the event and shuttered themselves away at Washington Place in mourning. Many Native Hawaiians and royalists followed suit and refused to attend the ceremony. The Republican government attempted to invite her to the Annexation Ball, and she responded by saying, "Why don't you ask me if I am going to pull down Hawaii's flag for them?"
On September 7, 1898, Kaʻiulani hosted the United States Congressional commission party and more than 120 guests with a grand luau at ʻĀinahau. The commissioners: the new Territorial Governor Dole, Senators Shelby M. Cullom of Illinois and John T. Morgan of Alabama, Representative Robert R. Hitt of Illinois, and former Hawaii chief justice and later Territorial Governor Walter F. Frear were tasked with forming a new territorial government. Kaʻiulani arranged the event to highlight the importance of Hawaiian culture and started the luau by dipping her finger in the poi. The luau at ʻĀinahau for the congressional party was portrayed in the 2009 film as a fight for Hawaiian suffrage, which was ensured in the 1900 Hawaiian Organic Act.
Kaʻiulani had always been an athletic young woman, who enjoyed equestrianism, surfing, swimming croquet, and canoeing. She traveled to the Parker Ranch at Waimea on the island of Hawaii on December 6, 1898. The ranch owner, Samuel Parker, had served on Kalākaua's privy council, and was Liliʻuokalani's minister of foreign affairs when the monarchy was overthrown. Kaʻiulani attended the December 14 wedding of Parker's daughter, her childhood friend Eva Parker to Frank Woods, and stayed for Christmas festivities. The celebrations and activities went on for weeks. In mid-January 1899, Kaʻiulani and a number of other guests mounted horses and rode out for a picnic. What started out as pleasant weather soon turned into a windy rainstorm. While others on the ride donned raincoats, Kaʻiulani was gleefully galloping through the rain without a coat. It was not until later, when they were back on the ranch, that she began feeling ill. Upon learning of her situation on January 24, her father sailed immediately to the Island on the steamship Kinau. Their family physician, "Doctor Walters" (Saint David G. Walters), accompanied him. After medical treatment, the public was told two weeks later that she was on the mend.
Ka'iulani Elementary School was founded in the Kapālama neighborhood of Honolulu on April 25, 1899. During Arbor Day of 1900, the school principal planted a cutting from her banyan tree at ʻĀinahau, given to the school by Archibald Cleghorn. Local efforts prevented the tree from being cut down in the 1950s and the tree survives to the present. The bronze plaque from the original banyan tree was later moved to this site. Other cuttings from the original banyan were planted in other parts of Hawaii.
In a ceremony officiated by Liliʻuokalani on June 24, 1910, the family's remains were transferred for a final time to the underground Kalākaua Crypt after the main mausoleum building had been converted into a chapel. Her father was also interred in the crypt after his death on November 1, 1910.
Archibald Cleghorn willed the estate of ʻĀinahau to the Territory of Hawaii for a park to honor Ka'iulani after his death in 1910. However, the territorial legislature refused the gift. The property was subdivided and sold with the Victorian mansion at ʻĀinahau becoming a hotel and then a rental property before it burned down on August 2, 1921. The Daughters of Hawaii, an organization founded in 1903 to preserve the islands' historic legacy, was given responsibility for the care of Ka'iulani's banyan tree. On October 16, 1930, the Daughters of Hawaii installed a bronze plaque near the tree to honor the memory of Ka'iulani and her friendship with Robert Louis Stevenson. However, the mounting cost of annual pruning, and concerns about the health of the tree, led to it being cut down in 1949.
Forby's film is not the first project to bring the Princess to the screen: Kaʻiulani biographer Kristin Zambucka produced a docudrama called A Cry of Peacocks for Hawaiian television, broadcast in 1994 by Green Glass Productions and KITV. Princess Kaʻiulani was played by Heather Kuʻupuaohelomakamae Marsh.
In 1999, the Outrigger Hotels commissioned a statue of Kaʻiulani at Waikiki. An annual keiki (children) hula festival is held in her honor in October at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel (built on the former grounds of ʻĀinahau). In March 2017, Hawaiʻi Magazine ranked her on a list of the most influential women in Hawaiian history.
In the fall of 2007, English filmmaker Marc Forby began production on a $9 million film titled Barbarian Princess based on the princess' attempts to restore her nation's independence. Princess Kaʻiulani was played by 12-year-old Kaimana Paʻaluhi of Oahu and by Q'Orianka Kilcher. Barry Pepper, Will Patton, and Shaun Evans co-star. In March 2008, scenes were filmed on location at the Iolani Palace. The film's world premiere was held at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Friday, October 16, 2009, as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival. The film's title provoked controversy, and the film opened with mixed reviews. However, demand to see the film was high and the film festival scheduled several additional screenings. The movie's title has since been changed to Princess Kaʻiulani. Roadside Attractions acquired the movie's United States rights and scheduled it for theatrical release on May 14, 2010.
Currently, Victoria Kaiulani is 145 years, 9 months and 20 days old. Victoria Kaiulani will celebrate 146th birthday on a Saturday 16th of October 2021.
Find out about Victoria Kaiulani birthday activities in timeline view here.