|Queen of the Hawaiian Islands|
|Tenure||12 February 1874 –
20 January 1891
|Coronation||February 12, 1883, ʻIolani Palace|
December 31, 1834|
|Died||June 24, 1899
July 2, 1899|
Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum
|House||House of Kalākaua|
|Religion||Church of Hawaii|
Kapiʻolani was born December 31, 1834 in Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island to High Chief Kuhio Kalanianaʻole of Hilo and High Chiefess Kinoiki Kekaulike of Kauaʻi, the daughter of King Kaumualiʻi, last King of an independent Kauaʻi before its amicable cession to Kamehameha the Great. She was named Kapiʻolani, after her great-aunt High Chiefess Kapiʻolani, who defied the goddess Pele in the name of Christianity. Her name, Kapiʻolani, is composed of three words (ka pi'o lani) and means "The Heavenly Arch" or "The Royal Arch"
Kapiolani's first marriage was to High Chief Bennett Nāmākēhā, who was more than thirty years older than Kapiʻolani. He was an uncle of Queen Emma on her father George Naʻea's side. This made her aunt by marriage to Queen Emma, who she served as her highest lady-in-waiting. Kapiʻolani was the caretaker of Haku O Hawaiʻi, Prince Albert Kamehameha. Queen Emma blamed Kapiolani for the child's death as he was under Kapiolani's care at the time.
On December 8, 1863, Kapiʻolani remarried to Kalākaua in a quiet ceremony conducted by an Episcopal minister. Their wedding was heavily criticized since it fell during the time of mourning for King Kamehameha IV. She and Kalākaua were childless so she and her sister Poʻomaikelani adopted, in the tradition of hānai, their sister Victoria Kinoiki Kekaulike's three sons. Kapiʻolani took David Kawānanakoa and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and Poʻomaikelani adopted Edward Abnel Keliʻiahonui. In 1883, Kalākaua made Kapiolani's nephews princes of Hawaii with the style of Highness in honor of his coronation.
In 1887, Queen Kapiʻolani traveled to London to attend Queen Victoria's 50th Jubilee celebration. Crown Princess Liliʻuokalani, King Kalākaua's sister, traveled with Kapiʻolani as her interpreter since though Kapiʻolani was brought up understanding English, she refused to speak anything but Hawaiian. The Hawaiian Royal family were treated as dignitaries, and were seated with the British Royal family in the front of Westminster Abbey.
Queen Kapiʻolani established the Kapiʻolani Maternity Home, where Hawaiian mothers could receive care, as well as their newborn babies. It survives today as the Kapiʻolani Medical Center. Kapiʻolani Park in Waikīkī was named after the Queen by her husband Kalākaua. One of her noted compositions to Hawaiian music was a love song she wrote for her husband, Ka Ipo Lei Manu. Kalākaua died in San Francisco before he could hear the musical composition from his Queen.
After the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai`i and her eviction from ʻIolani Palace, Queen Kapiʻolani retired to her private residence Pualeilani in Waikīkī, dying there June 24, 1899 at age sixty-four. She was interred in the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii along with her husband and the rest of the House of Kalākaua.
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- Finding Fine Heart
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- Reed, Frances (1962). Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, 1871-1922. Hilo: Hawaii County Library.
- Webb, Nancy; Webb, Jean Francis (1962). Kaiulani: Crown Princess of Hawaii. New York City: Viking Press.
- Zambucka, Kristin (2003). Kalakaua: Hawaii's Last King. Honolulu: Mana Pub. Co. ISBN 978-0-931897-04-7.
|Consort of Hawaiʻi
Prince John Owen Dominis
|Queen Dowager of Hawaiʻi