Queen Lili‘uokalani was born on September 2, 1838, in Honolulu.
She was the daughter of high ranking chiefs Caesar Kapa‘akea and Anale‘a Keohokālole, and sister of David Kalākaua, Miriam Likelike and William Pitt Leleiōhoku. Upon her birth she became the hanai child of chiefs Laura Konia and Abner Pākī.
She was given the name Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamaka‘eha. In her youth she was called "Lydia" or "Lili‘u" and then "Lili‘uokalani" when she became heir apparent.
Lili‘u married John O. Dominis on September 16, 1862. They lived with his widowed mother at Washington Place, today the official residence of Hawai‘i's governor.
ASCENDS TO THRONE
In 1891 her brother, King Kalākaua, died and Lili‘uokalani succeeded to the throne.
Queen Lili‘uokalani sought to amend the constitution to restore some of the power lost during the reign of her brother. Local sugar planters and businessmen feared a loss of revenue and influence and instigated an overthrow. To avoid bloodshed, the Queen yielded her throne on January 17, 1893. A provisional government was established.
In 1895 Lili‘uokalani was imprisoned for eight months in ‘Iolani Palace for her alleged knowledge of a counterrevolutionary attempt by her supporters.
RELEASED ON PAROLE
On September 6, 1896, Lili‘uokalani was released on parole, but she was forbidden to leave the island of O‘ahu.
JOINS ST. ANDREW'S CATHEDRAL
On May 18, 1896, at 6:30 a.m., Lili‘uokalani was baptized and confirmed by Bishop Willis into the Episcopal Church. Though she had been a long-time member of Kawaiha‘o Church, she decided to leave citing the lack of pastoral care and support during her imprisonment.
On July 7, 1898, President McKinley signed into law a joint resolution of Congress that purported to annex Hawaiʻi to the United States. The legality of that act is still in dispute today.
DEED OF TRUST
In her Deed of Trust dated December 2, 1909, which was later amended in 1911, Lili`uokalani entrusted her estate to provide for orphan and destitute children in the Hawaiian Islands, with preference for Hawaiian children. Her legacy is perpetuated through the Lili`uokalani Trust.
Queen Lili‘uokalani died at Washington Place on November 11, 1917, at the age of 79. After a state funeral, her remains were placed in the Royal Mausoleum.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HER MAJESTY
- The color of her reign was yellow.
- Her motto was "E ʻonipa‘a ... i ka ‘imi na‘auao" (Be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge).
- The royal standard of the Kalākaua family was the Burning Torch.
- She was the composer of "Aloha ‘Oe" and over 150 other songs.
- She was the author of Hawai‘i's Story by Hawai‘i's Queen.
- She was the translator of the Hawaiian Creation Chant, "Kumulipo."