#148 in the Moʻolelo series
Kapiʻolani was born in Hilo in 1834 but was of the Kauaʻi line of aliʻi. Her mother Kinoiki Kekaulike was the daughter of Kaumualiʻi, the King of Kauaʻi. Her father was the high chief named Kūhiō Kalanianaole, after whom Prince Kūhiō is named (the princes Kūhiō and Kawānanakoa were her nephews and named in Kalākaua’s line of succession, as the royal couple had no children).
After a first marriage to Namākēhā, a chief thirty years her senior, she married David Kalākaua in 1863. During her first marriage, Kapiʻolani was caretaker to Prince Albert Edward Leiopapa-a-Kamehameha, the son of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma – Kapiʻolani was an aunt by marriage of Emma.
Kapiʻolani founded the Kapiʻolani Maternity Home, which today is Kapiʻolani Medical Center, acquired by the Wilcox-founded Hawaiʻi Pacific Health. Kapiʻolani survived her husband by 8 years and died in 1899 at age 64. The kanikau below was written for her: