House of Laanui

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The House of Laʻanui (Hale O Laʻanui in the Hawaiian language) is a family of heirs to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi collateral to the House of Kamehameha. Both houses are branches of the House of Keōua Nui.


The European-style use of patrilineal family names for royal houses was only introduced into Hawaii in the 19th century. The male line of Kalokuokamaile stopped after the marriage of Chiefess Kaohelelani to Nuhi. After this the line continues as the House of Laʻanui, using the name of the son of Nuhi and Kaohelelani, rather than being called House of Nuhi. Theresa Owana Laʻanui was the last to use the Laʻanui surname. The surviving descendants use the Wilcox family name, and include English and Italian descent after Theresa's marriage to Robert William Wilcox.[citation needed]

Hawaiian royal houses, unlike European royal houses, continued after the extinction of the male line through the female line.[citation needed]


The eldest branch of the House of Keōua Nui is from descendants of chiefs of the Kona district of the island of Hawaiʻi, and from the island of Maui. The dynastic line was established by Kalokuokamaile who was the eldest half-brother of King Kamehameha I, who established the reigning House of Kamehameha. Kalokuokamaile was the son of High Chief Keōua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui and High Chiefess Kahikikala-o-kalani of Western Maui.[1]

Kalokuokamaile's paternal ancestry makes his descendants the closest surviving collateral relatives of the Kamehameha reigning house. From his paternal grandmother, Kamakaʻimoku, daughter of Chief Kuʻa Nuʻuanu, an Oahu chief descended from King ʻUmi's youngest son Kumalae of Hilo. This maternal grandmother was also the half-sister of Heulu, the father of Keawe-a-Heulu, ancestor of House of Kalakaua.[citation needed]

The ancestry of Kalokuokamaile’s mother High Chiefess Kahikikala-o-kalani was of a cadet branch of the Royal House of Maui. His mother was daughter of High Chief Kalahumoku, of Hāna, Kaupo and Kipahulu, by his wife, High Chiefess Kalani Kaumehameha. On her father side, she descended from Lono-Honua-Kini, King of Maui, through his youngest daughter the Princess Kuhala of Maui. Through his mother and father, Kalokuokamaile descended from the island rulers of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Oʻahu, and (more distantly) Kauaʻi.[citation needed]


The male line of Kalokuokamaile went extinct when Kalokuokamaile did not produce a male heir. He was survived by his daughter Princess Kaohelelani, by his wife Kaloiokalani of Kahikinui and Honuaula descent. Kaohelelani married Nuhi, who was noble but not a ruling chief. Rather than being called the House of Nuhi, the House continued under the name of their son, Gideon Peleioholani Laʻanui. Gideon's male line came to end in 1944 after the death of Theresa Owana Laʻanui, the last female descendants.[citation needed]

Her descendants:

  • For daughters, Eva and Daisy,
  • For grandchildren, Elliot, Dwight, and Emily
  • For son, Robert, from whom descend many other branches.
  • For the most active branch of Robert's descendants under Noa and his mother, Owana
  • For daughter, Virginia (Wilcox-Laanui-Kalokuokamaile).
    For Virginia’s descendants (Miller-Wilcox-Laanui-Kalokuokamaile)

Claims to Throne[edit]

Being the only descendants of any of the brothers of Kamehameha, these descendants claim to be the closest surviving relatives of the Kamehameha dynasty. The Laʻanui claims are similar to the Miguelist pretenders of Portugal, since they are not descendants of the last monarch. The claims of succession are from Lunalilo, the last descendant of Keōua Nui to sit on the Hawaiian throne, while the Kawananakoas are successor of Queen Liliʻuokalani. The Kalakaua and Kawananakoa descend from Kalaninuiamamao while the Keōua Nui descend from Keeaumoku Nui, who were both brothers and sons of Keaweʻīkekahialiʻiokamoku the last unquestioned Alii Aimoku of the Island of Hawaiʻi. These two brothers were the main forces in the war of succession that followed Keawe's death, and the battle between their descendants, for the position of sovereign of Hawaii continues. The Kawananakoa pretender, Prince Quentin Kawananakoa, is the ninth-cousin-twice removed of Noa Kalokuokamaile.[citation needed]

Other claims[edit]

The Laʻanui are the closest descendants of Princess Elizabeth Kekaaniau, who attended the Chiefs' Children's School. Each of the 15 royal children were declared eligible to succeed to the Hawaiian throne by King Kamehameha III with approval of the House of Nobles.[2] Although Princess Elizabeth was childless she adopted her only niece Theresa Owana Laanui as her heir. The Kawananakoa are cousins to royal family members who attended the school; they are not as close as the niece and aunt relation. With Theresa's second marriage to military and political leader Robert William Wilcox (Hawaii's first Delegate to Congress), the Laʻanui also claimed a closer lineage to the Kings of Maui through the line of Wilcox's ancestor Lonomakaihonua, the brother of Kaulahea II, King of Maui. However, the Kawananakoas are closer in descent to the House of Maui, descended from King Kekaulike, son of Kaulahea II.[citation needed]

Members of the Laʻanui family sometimes claimed the titles of prince and princess, as a matter of tradition and respect of their ancient native Hawaiians ancestry.[citation needed]

Members of the family[edit]

Keōua Nui
Kekuiapoiwa II
Kamehameha I
(The Great)
Jean Baptiste Rives
Gideon Peleioholani Laʻanui
Theresa Owana
Kaheiheimalie Rives
Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui
Gideon Kailipalaki Laʻanui
Alexander Cartwright III
Theresa Laʻanui
Robert William Wilcox
Daisy Weaver and Eva Styne
Robert Wilcox II
Virginia Miller
Helena Kalokuokamaile Wilcox
Owana Salazar
(born 1953)
Mahana Kaʻahumanu Walters
(born 1979)
Noa Kalokuokamaile DeGuair
(born 1981)


External links[edit]