House of Kawānanakoa

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Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa socializes with Edward, Prince of Wales, future King Edward VIII in 1920

The House of Kawānanakoa, or the Kawānanakoa Dynasty, are descendants to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.


A collateral branch of the reigning House of Kalākaua (from Kauaʻi island) and descendants of chiefs of areas such as Waimea on Hawaiʻi island, the dynastic line was established by Prince David Kawānanakoa who was declared an heir to King David Kalākaua. He was the son of High Chief David Kahalepouli Piʻikoi and High Chiefess Victoria Kinoiki Kekaulike. Kawānanakoa was engaged to Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani on February 3, 1898,[1] who would have become a monarch in her own right upon the death of Queen Liliʻuokalani had she not predeceased her.

David Kawānanakoa's paternal ancestry comes from a cadet branch of the Kauaʻi royal family. His paternal grandmother High Chiefess Kekahili was a half-sister of High Chief Caesar Kapaʻakea, the father of Kalākaua, both being children of the Chiefess Kamokuiki. This made her an aunt of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani, which makes the Kawānanakoas the closest surviving collateral relatives of the formerly reigning Kalākaua house. The said grandmother descended, besides from the ancient line of chiefs of Kauaʻi, also from the chief of Kaʻū, a great-uncle of King Kamehameha I.[citation needed]

However, the higher ranking ancestry of David Kawānanakoa actually is that through his mother. His maternal grandmother High Chiefess Kekaulike Kinoiki was the daughter of the last king of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau Kaumualiʻi. She was the granddaughter of Kaneoneo, who attempted to take Oʻahu back from Kahekili II in rebellion. She descended from the lines of high chiefs of Niʻihau, Koloa, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Maui. High Chief Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole the maternal grandfather Kanekoa, on his part, was a descendant of several districts of the island of Hawaiʻi (such as Waimea, Kona and Hilo) and descended directly from the chief of Waimea. Kanekoa was the half-uncle of King Kamehameha I who himself was originally a chief of Kona.

The House of Kawānanakoa survives today and is believed to be heirs to the throne by a number of genealogists.[2] Members of the family are sometimes called prince and princess, as a matter of tradition and respect of their status as aliʻi or chiefs of native Hawaiians, being lines of ancient ancestry.

The House of Kawānanakoa in contemporary Hawaiian politics is closely aligned with the Hawaii Republican Party, a political party it helped organize since the creation of the Territory of Hawaiʻi. Its matriarch, Abigail Kawānanakoa, became a national party leader in the early years of the twentieth century.

While many historians, members of the government of Hawaiʻi (as a matter of opinion and not policy), and some Hawaiʻi residents consider the House of Kawānanakoa the rightful heirs to the throne, smaller factions of native Hawaiians with objections to the family's ties to the Hawaiʻi Republican Party have chosen instead to support various other branches of aliʻi lines, such as descendants of collateral branches of the extended House of Kamehameha (to which both the Kalākaua and Kawānanakoa dynasties are distantly related, too) as having rights to the throne.[citation needed]

Family tree[edit]


  1. ^ "Princess Kaiulani Engaged; To Wed Prince David Kawananakoa of Hawaiian Royal Blood" (PDF). New York Times. February 12, 1898. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  2. ^ Boylan, Dan (August 7–13, 1998). "Battle Royal". MidWeek. Retrieved January 10, 2014.

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