Once upon a time Hawaii was it’s own country with its own monarchy. To tell the story of Victoria one must also tell the story of Hawaii.
Ka’iulani’s childhood was something of a fairy tale. Her mother was princess Miriam Likelike and her father was Archibald Cleghorn, a Scottish immigrant who ran a prosperous trading company on Oahu. While Victoria was in England studying she received news that her uncle Kalakua King of Hawaii died. That’s when Ka’iulani’s fairy tale began to unravel.
Her aunt, Queen Liliuokalani, Kalakua’s sister ascended the throne. Shortly thereafter she named Ka’iulani her heir.
For forty years Hawaii had been conducting trade with the United States. One trade agreement led increased sugar cane exports, another created the naval base, Pearl Harbor. Each agreement ultimately brought the United States further and further into Hawaiian politics. During all of this, a number of Americans settled on the islands. One such man was Sanford B. Dole, he was the son of a US immigrant to Hawaii. Shortly after Queen Liliuokalani took the throne she was deposed by a number of US settlers led by Sanford Dole.
Princess Ka’iulani launched a PR campaign trying to persuade the American people and government over to her cause, that the Native Hawaiians were not savages. She released a number of press releases then began making appearances. It almost worked. President Grover Cleveland went to Hawaii in an attempt to persuade Dole to step down as president.He of course refused. Pearl Harbor was too important of a base for the government to give up. Mickinley moved forward with making Hawaii an official territory.
Two years after Princess Ka’iulani lost her battle to save Hawaii, she died unexpectedly of pneumonia at the age of 23.
In addition to the movies listed below, I highly recommend the movie Princess Kai’iulani.
- The Descendents inspired by actual events of what the Hawaiian royal family.
- Ka’iulani: The People’s Princess
- Lost Kingdom