Victoria Kawēkiu Kaʻiulani Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Cleghorn (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii and held the title of Crown Princess. Kaʻiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence and determination.

Princess grew up knowing painters Joseph Dwight Strong, a landscape painter in the court of her uncle, and Isobel Strong, a lady in waiting under her mother and stepdaughter of Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson called her "the island rose" in a poem he wrote in her autograph book.[8] Art and music were also in the curriculum at Great Harrowden Hall, and she took several trips to Scotland and France to study art. Her few surviving paintings demonstrate considerable talent.[9]

Because Princess Kaʻiulani was second in line to the throne after her elderly and childless aunt, the young girl was expected to eventually become Queen. King Kalākaua, Kapiʻolani, Cleghorn, and the Princess talked about the issue and determined the Princess should pursue a British education. In 1889, at the age of 13, Kaʻiulani was sent to Northamptonshire, England to be given a private education at Great Harrowden Hall. She excelled in her studies of Latin, Literature, Mathematics, and History there and took classes in French, German, and sports (mostly tennis and cricket). In 1892, Kaʻiulani made a new start by moving to Brighton where she was chaperoned and tutored by Mrs. Rooke who set up a curriculum including German, French and English. This village by the sea pleased the princess, renewing her enthusiasm.[10] She continued to study in England for the next four years, despite originally being told that she would only be there for one year. Her overseers from Hawaii had planned for her to take a trip around Europe and had even arranged for her to have an audience with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, following the overthrow of her Aunt, Queen Liliʻuokalani, on January 17, 1893 by local businessmen, all plans were cancelled and she went to New York.

Overthrow[edit]

During her absence, much turmoil occurred back in Hawaii. King Kalakaua died in 1891, and Princess Lydia Liliʻuokalani became Queen. Liliʻuokalani immediately appointed Kaʻiulani as her heir, and Kaʻiulani became the Crown Princess. In 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and the new government attempted to become a part of the United States. The news arrived to Kaʻiulani on January 30, 1893 in a short telegram that said: "'Queen Deposed', 'Monarchy Abrogated', 'Break News to Princess'".

Kaʻiulani then made a statement to the press in England

Four years ago, at the request of Mr. Thurston, then a Hawaiian Cabinet Minister, I was sent away to England to be educated privately and fitted to the position which by the constitution of Hawaii I was to inherit. For all these years, I have patiently and in exile striven to fit myself for my return this year to my native country. I am now told that Mr. Thurston will be in Washington asking you to take away my flag and my throne. No one tells me even this officially. Have I done anything wrong that this wrong should be done to me and my people? I am coming to Washington to plead for my throne, my nation and my flag. will not the great American people hear me ?

She referred to Lorrin A. Thurston, who was touring the United States promoting its annexation of Hawaii.[12] Kaʻiulani decided to take action and traveled to the United States herself the following month. Upon arrival on American shores, although shy by nature, she addressed the press in public with these words:

years ago, Christian America sent over Christian men and women to give religion and civilization to Hawaii. Today, three of the sons of those missionaries are at your capitol asking you to undo their father’s work. Who sent them? Who gave them the authority to break the Constitution which they swore they would uphold? Today, I, a poor weak girl with not one of my people with me and all these ‘Hawaiian’ statesmen against me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can hear their wail in my heart and it gives me strength and courage and I am strong - strong in the faith of God, strong in the knowledge that I am right, strong in the strength of seventy million people who in this free land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonor to mine!

Kaʻiulani returned to Hawaii in 1897. The return to a warmer climate did not help her health. She continued to deteriorate as she struggled to readjust to the tropical climate of the Hawaiian islands. However, she continued to make public appearances at the urging of her father.

With the approval of Queen Liliʻuokalani and Queen Dowager Kapiʻolani and in compliance with the last Hawaiian constitution, Princess Kaʻiulani and Prince Kawānanakoa announced their engagement on February 3, 1898.[15]

She was now a private citizen of the Republic of Hawaii, and on August 12, 1898 became citizen of the Territory of Hawaii as the annexation finally took place. During the Annexation ceremony, the Princess and her aunt, Liliʻuokalani, along with other members of the royal family and with the heads of every Hawaiian political party, wore funeral attire and shuttered themselves within Washington Place, protesting what they considered an illegal transaction. "When the news of Annexation came it was bitterer than death to me," Princess Kaʻiulani, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was bad enough to lose the throne, but infinitely worse to have the flag go down..."[16]

Kaʻiulani loved peacocks. She grew up enjoying the company of a flock originally belonging to her mother, and is sometimes called the "Peacock Princess".[17][18]

Death[edit]

In 1898, while on a horse ride in the mountains of Hawaii Island, Kaʻiulani was caught in a storm and came down with a fever and pneumonia. Earlier she had caught cold from swimming while on the Big Island, and this worsened matters. Kaʻiulani was brought back to Oahu where her health continued to decline. She died on March 6, 1899 at the age of 23 of inflammatory rheumatism. She was interred in Honolulu's Royal Mausoleum of the Hawaii.

for me her death sounds odd I don't know it doesn't seem right something up.