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The Kingdom of Hawaii

The monarchs of Hawaii, from the formation of the kingdom in 1810 until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893:

King Kamehameha I
(called Kamehameha the Great)
Reigned 1810-1819

King Kamehameha II
(also called Liholiho)
Reigned 1819-1824

Note: Kamehameha II died of measles while visiting London;
news of his death reached Hawaii in 1825.

King Kamehameha III
(also called Kauikeaouli)
Reigned June 1825 - December 1854

Note: Kamehameha III's mother, Queen Kaahumanu,
was Hawaii's regent from 1823 until 1832.

King Kamehameha IV
(also called Alexander Liholiho)
Reigned January 1855 - November 1863

King Kamehameha V
(also called Lot Kapuaiwa)
Reigned November 1863 - December 1872

King Lunalilo
(William Charles Lunalilo)
Reigned 1873-1874

King Kalakaua
(David Kalakaua)
Reigned 1874-1891

Queen Liliuokalani
(Lydia Liliuokalani)
Reigned 1891-1893
Deposed in 1893; abdicated in 1895

Books About Hawaiian Royalty

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Book Categories: History & Monarchy, Kamehameha I, Liholiho, Kauikeaouli, Kalakaua, Emma, Liliuokalani, Kaiulani, Bishop Estate, Novels, Children's Books, DVDs

Hawaiian History and Monarchy

Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands by Gavan Daws. A useful overview of Hawaiian history.

Ancient Hawaii

Na Pua Ali'I O Kaua'I: Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii by Frederick B. Wichman. Presents the stories of the men and women who ruled the island of Kaua'i from its first settlement to the final rebellion against Kamehameha I in 1824.

A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief: The Island Civilization of Ancient Hawai'i by Patrick Vinton Kirch. Puts a human face on the gradual rise to power of the Hawaiian god-kings, who by the late 18th century were locked in a series of wars for control of the archipelago.

How Chiefs Became Kings by Patrick Vinton Kirch. Divine kingship and the rise of archaic states in ancient Hawaii.

Kingship and Sacrifice by Valerio Valeri. The religious role of kings in ancient Hawaii.

Ancient History of the Hawaiian People to the Times of Kamehameha I by Glen Grant. Traces Hawaii's saga from legendary times to the arrival of Captain Cook, including an account of his demise.

The Ancient Hawaiian State: Origins of a Political Society by Robert J. Hommon. A study of the ancient Hawaiians' transformation of their Polynesian chiefdoms into primary state societies.

Hawaiian Kingdom

Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings and America's First Imperial Adventure by Julia Flynn Siler. Portraits of royalty and rogues, sugar barons and missionaries combine in the sweeping tale of the Hawaiian Kingdom's rise and fall.

The Hawaiian Kingdom 1778-1854, Foundation and Transformation by Ralph Simpson Kuykendall. First volume in a series about Hawaiian history.

Hawaiian Kingdom 1854-1874, Twenty Critical Years by Ralph S. Kuykendall. The second volume of Kuykendall's series.

Hawaiian Kingdom 1874-1893, the Kalakaua Dynastism by Ralph S. Kuykendall. Volume 3 of Kuykendall's series.

The Hawaiian Monarchy by Allan Seiden. Tells the story of the Hawaiian kingdom from its foundation to its overthrow in 1898.

Kamehameha's Crown: A History of the Hawaiian Monarchy by Stephen R. Bunford. This account of the Hawaiian monarchy from 1810 to 1893 looks at the personalities and roles of each of the Hawaiian monarchs, and at members of their families.

Lost Palaces of Hawai'i: Royal Residences of the Kingdom Period by Ralph Thomas Kam. Pictures, photographs, and comprehensive maps.

Death Rites and Hawaiian Royalty by Ralph Thomas Kam. Funerary practices in the Kamehameha and Kalakaua dynasties, 1819-1953. Includes dozens of historic drawings and photographs.

Inventing Politics: A New Political Anthropology of the Hawaiian Kingdom by Juri Mykkanen. Looks at how foreigners and Hawaiians themselves viewed Hawaiian politics in the 19th century.

Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali'i by Leah Pualahaole Caldeira. Feather cloaks and capes provided spiritual protection to Hawaiian chiefs while proclaiming their royal status. Through photographs and scholarly essays, this book highlights rare surviving examples.

Kamehameha the Great

Warrior King: Hawaii's Kamehameha the Great by Richard Tregaskis.

Kamehameha II (Liholiho)

Shipwrecked in Paradise: Cleopatra's Barge in Hawai'i by Paul F. Johnston. The first oceangoing yacht ever built in America, Cleopatra's Barge became Hawaiian king Kamehameha II's personal yacht. It wrecked on a reef in 1824, and divers excavated the site from 1995 to 2000.

Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli)

Kamehameha III by P. Christiaan Klieger. A biography, based on primary source materials, of the Hawaiian kingdom's longest-ruling, most beloved, and most defiant king.

King Kalakaua

The Legends and Myths of Hawaii: The Fables and Folk-Lore of a Strange People by David Kalakaua. This book was written by Hawaii's last king.

David Kalakaua by Ruby Lowe is about Hawaii's last king.

Reclaiming Kalakaua: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives on a Hawaiian Sovereign by Tiffany Lani Ing. Examines representations of the king in English- and Hawaiian-language newspapers, books, travelogues, and other materials published during his reign.

Around the World With a King by William N. Armstrong. The author accompanied Kalakaua on a trip around the world. Their journey began in 1887 and took them to many countries, including China, Siam, India, Egypt, England, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. This book was originally published in 1904.

Queen Emma

Emma: Hawaii's Remarkable Queen by George S. Kanahele. The definitive biography of one of the most beloved and influential women in Hawaiian history.

In Haste With Aloha: Letters and Diaries of Queen Emma, 1881-1885 edited by David W. Forbes. Ninety previously unpublished letters and excerpts from two diaries written by Hawaiian royal consort Queen Emma Kaleleonalani during the last five years of her life.

Books About Liliuokalani

Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen by Queen Liliuokalani. The history of Hawaii, in the words of its most famous queen and songwriter.

The Betrayal of Liliuokalani: Last Queen of Hawaii 1838-1917 by Helena G. Allen is a biography.

Pacific Gibraltar: U.S.-Japanese Rivalry Over the Annexation of Hawai'i, 1885-1898 by William Michael Morgan. Detailed examination of Hawaiian annexation, addressing the extent of U.S. support for the overthrow of the monarchy and President Cleveland's attempt to restore the queen.

To Steal a Kingdom by Michael Dougherty. Relates in detail how the Hawaiian royal family lost control of their country.

Lili'uokalani: A Royal Album by Allan Seidan. Pictures and design from the Hawaiian queen's own photo albums.

The Queen and I: A Story of Dispossessions and Reconnections in Hawai'i by Sydney Lehua Iaukea. The author delves into Hawaii's historical archives and discovers her great-great-grandfather's trusted position with the Hawaiian Kingdom's last ruling monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani.


Bird of Another Heaven by James D. Houston. Novel about a California woman who became consort to David Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii.

The Shores of Paradise by Shirley Streshinsky. Tells the story of four people in the final decades of the 1800s, the end of Hawaii's monarchy, including Princess Kaiulani, heiress apparent to the Hawaiian throne.

The Last Aloha by Gaellen Quinn. 1886, Laura Jennings learns her relatives are plotting to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. She goes to work for the royal family as the last queen, Lili-uokalani, wages a tragic struggle to save her kingdom.

A Queen's Journey by James D. Houston. Fictional account of Hawaiian queen Liliuokalani and the tumultuous times in which she lived. The author died without finishing the novel.

Kula Keiki Ali'i by Rosemary I. Patterson and Sarah Fitzpatrick is about the upbringing of Hawaii's last five monarchs: Lili'uokalani, Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, and David Kalakaua.

Hawaii by James A. Michener is a novel covering the entire history of Hawaii. It was first published in 1959.

Princess Ka'iulani

Kaiulani, Crown Princess of Hawaii by Nancy Webb and Jean Francis Webb is a biography of Liliuokalani's heir.

Kaiulani of Hawaii and the Fall of Her Kingdom by Peter W. Noonan. Heir to the throne of Hawaii, Princess Kaiulani struggled against the kingdom's annexation by the United States.

The Bishop Estate

Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, and Political Manipulation at America's Largest Charitable Trust by Samuel P. King and Randall W. Roth. Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop left her estate to establish Kamehameha Schools to benefit Hawaiian children. This book alleges that the trust has been mismanaged.

Lost Generations: A Boy, a School, a Princess by J. Arthur Rath. Written by a Kamehameha Schools graduate who draws on his personal ties to provide surprising revelations on the trustees and the Bishop Estate Scandal.

Children's Books

Kamehameha: The Boy Who Became a Warrior King by Ellie Crowe, illustrated by Don Robinson. A coming-of-age story about Hawaii's first king, for children ages 4 to 8.

Kamehameha: The Warrior King of Hawai'i by Susan Morrison, illustrated by Karen Kiefer. Fictionalized account of the life of Kamehameha the Great, for children ages 9 to 12.

Queen Lili'uokalani by Virginia Loh-Hagan, illustrated by Jeff Bane. A look at the life of Hawaii's last monarch for children ages 4 to 7.

Lydia and the Island Kingdom by Joan Holub, illustrated by Nonna Aleshina. Fictional account of Princess Liliuokalani of Hawaii, for children ages 4 to 8.

Princess Ka'Iulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People by Sharon Linnea. A biography for young adult readers.

The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Ka'Iulani of Hawaii by Fay Stanley. Biography for children ages 4-8.

Kamehameha II: Liholiho and the Impact of Change by Julie W. Steward. Biography for young adult readers.

Kamehameha III: Kauikeaouli by Jean I. Cachola. Young adult biography.

Kamehameha IV: Alexander Liholiho by Ruby Hasegawa Lowe and Robin Yoko Racoma.

Kamehameha V: Lot Kapuaiwa by Rosalin Comeau.


These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.

The American Experience: Hawaii's Last Queen. A 1997 television documentary. Queen Liliu'okalani moved easily between the worlds of Hawaiian tradition and state dinners at the White House. But as the powerful American business community in Hawaii moved to gain control of the island nation, Liliu'okalani was caught in the middle.

America's Castles: Palaces in Paradise. From Hawaii to the Caribbean, this is a tropical tour of some of the most exotic and historic mansions in the world, including the magnificent Iolani Palace in Honolulu.

Conquest of Hawaii. A complete chronicle of Hawaii's history, from Kamehameha to Captain Cook and beyond. Features interviews with leading politicians, historians, and activists.

Treasure! Hawaii's Lost Riches. This is the story of the hundred-year odyssey to recover the treasures of the only royal palace ever built in America.

Haunted Hawaii. Are Hawaii's ghosts real? This documentary from The History Channel examines firsthand accounts of paranormal encounters, talks with spiritualists and mediums, and traces the rich history of the islands' myths and legends for clues about the spirits of Hawaii.

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Related Topics

Royalty in Oceania
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Footholds in the Pacific
Royal Ark - The Hawaiian Islands
Wikipedia - James Cook
The Woman Who Changed A Kingdom: Hawaiian Queen Kaahumanu
Queen Emma Biography
Mark Twain on Death of Princess Victoria Kamamalu
Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen
Princess Kaiulani of Hawaii: The Monarchy's Last Hope
Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn (1875-1899)
Stories and Genealogy of Maui's Royalty
Wikipedia - Public Law 103-150 (U.S. apology to native Hawaiians)

'Iolani Palace

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