The ʻIolani Palace is an enduring symbol of our Hawaiian Nation, and a shining example of Hawaiian innovation. King Kalākaua was the first Head of State to circumnavigate the globe and while traveling was in awe of the royal palaces and castles that he visited.
Inspired by his travels, King Kalākaua initiated the building of ʻIolani Palace at the end of 1879 near the site of Pohukaina burial cave which housed many high ranking chiefs of the past. The palace was completed in 1882. King Kalākaua was inspired to furnish the palace with elements that would represent the prestige of our Hawaiian chiefs and stand as a reminder of the brilliance of our ancestors
The Palace became the official residence of our last two Hawaiian monarchs; King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. They held many ceremonies, royal celebrations, as well as received dignitaries and luminaries from around the world.
Our Mōʻī Kalākaua was a constant seeker of knowledge. He actively sought out the most advanced technology of the world in order to bring it back to Hawaiʻi as an effort to elevate our nation.
After meeting with Thomas Edison in New York, Kalākaua brought electricity to the palace. By 1886, ʻIolani Palace already had running electric lights four years earlier than the White House. The palace was also furnished with indoor plumbing, hot water showers and a telephone. as further examples of Hawaiian leadership embracing the best technologies of the world.
The palace was the unfortunate scene of the illegal overthrow of our Kingdom government in 1893 and later our Mōʻī Wahine Liliʻuokalani was wrongfully imprisoned in the palace. Despite the horrendous acts of the treasonous provisional government the ‘Iolani Palace is our palace, it is the palace of our Nation. Today we see our beloved Hae Hawaiʻi flying above ʻIolani Palace, it is a reminder of our Kingdom and the brilliance of our kūpuna.
E ola mau ka ʻIolani Palace, e welo mau ka hae Hawaiʻi!
Written by: Lāiana and Cami Kanoa-Wong