Kalākaua’s Heirs

#196 in the Moʻolelo series. Somewhat ironically, but practically, Kalākaua, who had been elected in 1874, did his best to ensure that there would not be another election (for want of heirs). Accordingly, he made a list of heirs – Iʻm told the number was eight, plus all their descendants, and he established the board of Genealogy to establish credible aliʻi lines, himself being outside of the Kamehameha line of succession. I was told this by Hailama Farden, whose recent recognition as a living treasure solidifies his status as a credible source. Iʻll be re-working this post to get the correct order, but Iʻll note my understanding of the order here.

Prince William Pitt Leleiohoku II (source: wikimedia commons)

William Pitt Leileiohoku II – Part of “nā lani ehā” (one of the “four heavenly ones,” along with Kalākaua, Liliʻu and Miriam Likelike), Leleiohoku was an accomplished musician, like his siblings. He was the second William Pitt – the first was also known as “Billy Pitt,” who was Prime Minister in the time of Kamehameha (he was seen as the counterpart of the British Prime Minister William Pitt and so given the same name). Born in 1855, he tragically died in 1877 at age 22 while Crown Prince, leaving Liliʻuokalani as heir apparent.

Liliʻuokalani – Originally Liliʻu Kamakaʻeha Pakī, she was given the name Liliʻuokalani by Kalākaua, as it became apparent that she would be an heir of his. As noted in “The Young Liliʻu:”

Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha was born on this day, September 9th, 1838 very near to the site of Queens Hospital at the foot of Puowaina (Punchbowl) in Honolulu. Her parents were Ceasar Kapaʻakea and Analea Keohokalole, both high-ranking chiefs on all sides. Liliʻu – who only became Liliʻuokalani when her brother King Kalākaua gave her the name around the time she became the heir to the throne – was part of “nā Lani Ehā,” the heavenly four or chiefly four: Kalākaua, Leleiohoku, Miriam Likelike and herself.

Queen Lili’uokalani

Ka’iulani – The Half Hawaiian and half Scottish daughter of Miriam Likelike (Kalākaua’s sister), Ka’iulani was educated at the Great Harrowden Hall school in England. Smithsonian magazine quoted DeSoto Brown, head of Bishop Museum, on Kaʻiulani:

At the age of 13 Ka’iulani was sent to boarding school in England. “Her father wanted her to have the best education possible, to be educated like a proper young lady” Brown explains, “especially since she was royalty and it was anticipated that she would have important responsibilities in connection with her position.” It would be nine years before she would see her native land again; and when she finally returned, Hawaii was no longer an independent nation.

 Janet Hulstrand, SMITHSONIANMAG.COM, MAY 7, 2009

Kaʻiulani was second in line after Liliʻu and heir to the throne when Liliʻu was monarch.

Princess Kaʻiulani at Harrowden Hall (source: wikimedia commons)

David Kawānanakoa – Brother of Kūhiō and later co-founder of the Democratic Party, Kawānanakoa was third in line, and is the only one of the heirs who has descendants today – at least 13 members of the present Kawanānakoa family. The brothers Kawānanakoa and Kūhiō were nephews of Queen Kapiʻolani (and therefore part of the Kauaʻi line of ruling chiefs – Kapiʻolani was the granddaughter of King Kaumualiʻi), and legally named Princes by Kalākaua, who had no children.

Prince David Kawānanakoa

In 1955, “KAPIIKAUINAMOKU” wrote an article in the Honolulu Advertiser entitled “Liliuokalani was the last of the Alapaiwahine Line” and subtitled “Heirs of the Kalakaua Dynasty,”* in which he or she wrote about the Kawānanakoa clan:

PRINCE DAVID KAWANA-NAKOA was one of the three nephews of the Queen Consort Julia Kapiolani II who were elevated to the estate of Hawaiian peerage by David, King Kalakaua. His brothers were the late Prince Cupid (Jonah Kuhio-Kalanianaole) and Edward, the Prince Kealiiahonui who died as a youth:

Prince Cupid married Elizabeth Kahanu (later Mrs. Frank Woods) and for many years represented Hawaii as the Territorial Delegate to Congress.

PRINCE DAVID married the very lovely Abigail Campbell, daughter of James Campbell, a Scotsman, and Abigail Maipinepine (later Mrs. Samuel Parker). The late Princess Abby had three sisters, all of whom married into the peerage of Hawaii.

Her sister, Alice Kamokila, married into the royal House of Kalaninui-I-Mamao when she married the late Walter Macfarlane. Her youngest sister Beatrice Umiula-I-Kaahumanu married George Beckley, the High-Chief Mooheau II of the exalted House of Kameeiamoku and Hoolulu.

HER THIRD sister was the late Ethel Muriel Kuaihealani who married into the royal and sacred House of Keoua and Dynasty of Kamehameha and became the High-Chiefess Keeaumoku V.

Prince David and his consort, Abigail, had three children: David Kalakaua II, Prince Kawananakoa; Helen Abigail Lambert – Ena – Field, the Princess Kapiolani III; and Lydia Ellerbrock – Brenham-Lee-Morris, the Princess Liliuokalani II.

THE LATE Princess Kawananakoa was a most unusual and brilliant woman. For many years she served as the Republican National Committee-woman from Hawaii and was most active in island political affairs.

A woman of striking beauty and great wealth, the Princess did her utmost to maintain the prestige and elegance of the royal dynasty into which she married.

KAPIIKAUINAMOKU, Liliuokalani Was Last Of Alapai-Wahine Line,” Honolulu Advertiser, 1955, ulukau.org, accessed Feb. 24, 2021

Queen KapiʻolaniKapiʻolani was in the list of heirs, given that she and Kalākaua had on children. As I wrote of the Queen:

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 …

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.

Aimoku DominisThe Advertiser article, somewhat surprisingly to me, lists Aimoku Dominis as an heir to the throne, and says that he:

was the youngest son of Mary Hale Purdy, wife of Alexander Kekolomoku Pahau. Their mansion stood for many years on the site of the present Mission Memorial building. His sisters were Lydia Kekolomoku, the High-Chieless Keeaumoku IV and the late Deborah Pahau-Kamanoulu. His brothers were Henry, Robert, and Alexander Pahau.

The young Aimoku married Miss Sybil McInerny and had three children John, Sybil and Virginia. 

What is not mentioned in the article is who the father is: John Owen Dominis, husband and Royal Consort of Liliʻuokalani, who later adopted Aimoku (he was only a Dominis after this adoption). Sydney Iaukea (great-granddaughter of Curtis Iaukea, who is mentioned in Kalākaua’s will, below) notes in her book The Queen and I that Liliʻu had Aimoku down as heir to Washington Place, being his father’s childhood home.

Prince Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole – As I wrote in Hawaiian Heroes – Part 2, Kūhiō was an underrated figure, one of the most misunderstood figures in Hawaiian history in my view (Iʻve been meaning to write a post on this for the longest time!). My understanding is that Kūhiō was #7 on the list of heirs (actually called “Prince Cupid” in the will!), after Leleiohoku’s death:

Kūhiō was on the Fat Ulu list [of Hawaiian meʻe or heroes], but I would add some reasons that bolster the claim that he is a hero. Not only did Kūhiō touch the lives of thousands of Hawaiians long after his time by creating the Hawaiian Home Lands, he fought for the Queen alongside Wilcox and went to jail for it. Contrary to his amiable image as “Prince Cupid” (a nickname he got as a child that has nothing to do with his adult personality – except that he was very likely attractive to women) he didnʻt suffer fools gladly. As one of only seven students (in the world, actually) of Lua in the “Kalākaua school,” he used his skill to knock out a German who insulted him in a hotel. Kūhiō fought in the Boer War [in South Africa] on the British side, and so brought battle skills to the 1895 insurrection against the Republic of Hawaiʻi.

But at the time of his death, Kalākaua’s will (published, of all places in the Daily Alta newspaper in California (Kalākaua died in Santa Barbara) read as follows:

KALAKAUA, by the grace of God and the will of the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands, King, being of sound and disposing mind and memory and well knowing the uncertainties of human lite, de hereby make, publish and declare this to be Our last Will and Testament, in manner following that is to say: First—In conformity with Our appointment and public proclamation made on the 12th day of April A. D. 1877, and in accordance with the 22d Article ot the Constitution promulgated by Us on the 7th day of July A. D. 1877, that Our beloved Sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Liliuokalani, be Our successor to the Throne of Hawaii, it is Our will that she ascend the Throne immediately upon Our decease in case We die without heirs of Our body lawfully begotten. Second—It is Our wish that Our beloved Sister and successor the Princess Liliuokalani, failing heirs of her body upon succeeding to the Throne of Hawaii, appoint and publicly proclaim as her successor Our beloved Niece, Her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria Kawekiu Kaiulani Keahilapalapa Kekauluohi.

Third—It is farther Our wish that the Throne of Hawaii shall descend to Our beloved Niece, Her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria Kawekiu Kaiulani. the daughter and heir of Her Royal Highness Princess Likelike, and to the heirs of her body in succession, it being Our wish and desire that the sovereignship of the Kingdom of Hawaii be perpetnated in the family of which We are the head.

Fourth—In the event that the Throne of Hawaii shall descend to Our beloved Niece, Her Royal Highness the Princess Victoria Kawekiu Kaiulani, as in the last article provided, while she has not attained the age of majority, We ordain that Her Majesty Our Deloved Queen Consort Kapiolani, if then surviving, shall be Regent to conduct the Government until the Princess shall have attained the age of majority. Fifth—In case, however, the royal line as hereinbefore indicated in articles one, two and three shall be about to become extinct, and Her Majesty Our beloved Queen Kapiolani shall then survive, it is Our wish that the Sovereign last reigning of Our immediate family, as before indicated, shall appoint and proclaim Her Majesty Queen Kapiolani to be the next successor to the Throne ef Hawaii. Sixth—It is our wish to provide that when the last one of Our immediate family shall come to the Throne, there being no issue of his or her body to succeed in order, and Her Majesty Queen Kapiolaui not being alive when such event shall occur, the Throne of Hawaii shall descend to Our beloved Sister, Her Royal Highness Princess Poomaikelani, and after her, failing heirs of her body, the Throne ol Hawaii shall descend to the sons of Our cousin as lollows: First to His Royal Highness Prince David Kawananakoa and to the heirs of his body, and failing heirs then to His Royal Highness Prince Cupid Kalanianaole and the heirs of his body; each to assume the name and title of Kalakaua, and to be numbered in order from Us as the first of this name, and in that case to assume the number that shall next follow in numerical order.

Seventh—We desire that Our Chamberlain the Honorable Curtis P. Iaukea or his successor be allowed occupation of the chambers and archives of his office at the Palace for one month after Our decease, in which to regulate and put in order the affairs of his office before passing them over to his successor, in case any should be appointed, and We desire him to tale charge of all Our public and private papers immediately upon Our decease Eighth—After the payment of Our just debts, We make the following disposition of the property both real and personal of which We shall be seized and possessed at the time of Our death, the same not being royal domain or Crown Lands, but being Our private property, namely: We give, devise and bequeath unto Our beloved Queen Kapiolani and to her heirs and assigns forever all of Our estate real and personal of whatsoever name and nature, and wheresoever situated in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Ninth—We hereby leave the nomination and appointment of Executor of this Our last Will and Testament to the option of Our beloved Consort Queen Kapiolani with bonds. Done at Our Palace at Keakealani Hale in Kailua, Hawaii, this Twenty-first day of May in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight, [Signed] KALAKAUA, REX.

“King Kalakaua’s Will,” Daily Alta California, Volume 84, Number 77, 18 March 1891

*This was #66 in Advertiser Hawaiian history series, as this post is #196, I may have them beat!


Filed under Education

2 responses to “Kalākaua’s Heirs

  1. This is a great article, mahalo! Check your dates on Kuhio’s participation in the Boer War, as I believe it was *after* the insurrection to restore the Queen, as it happened on his honeymoon travels after he was let out of prison for his participation in the 2nd Wilcox rebellion.


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