Island History

Princess Kawananakoa visits Kaua‘i

On Friday, Feb. 4, 1921, Princess Abigail Kawananakoa (1882-1945), along with her entourage of about 30, arrived at Nawiliwili from Honolulu aboard the steamer “Kinau,” for an 11-day stay on Kaua‘i.

The Princess’s claim to the throne, vacant since the overthrow of 1893, originated when her husband, Prince David Kawananakoa, and her brother-in-law, Prince Jonah Kuhio, were named by Queen Liliuokalani in 1891 as heirs presumptive, succeeding the heir apparent, Princess Kaiulani (1875-1899).

When Prince Kawananakoa died in 1908, Prince Kuhio remained the only person by right of blood and designation who could have claimed the throne. After his death in 1922, Princess Kawananakoa assumed the role of heir to the throne.

Friday was spent resting at the Niumalu home of Judge William C. Achi Jr., which had been the home of Paul P. Kanoa, governor of Kaua‘i from 1882 to 1886, and remains today the Achi residence. That evening a splendid lu‘au was attended there by many guests.

On Saturday, a 16-car motorcade conveyed the Princess and her party to the Waimea home of Mrs. J. D. Cook, president of the Waimea Ka‘ahumanu Society, where another lu‘au was served.

The Lihu‘e Armory, which was located where the State Building now stands, was the site on Saturday evening of a program of Hawaiian music that evoked heartfelt memories of old Hawai‘i.

At Hanalei on Monday, a complete Hawaiian lu‘au was prepared at Wai‘oli Church.  Dancing and music followed at the Lihu‘e Armory.

During her visit, Princess Kawananakoa was also entertained at the home of Charles Rice overlooking Kalapaki Bay and at Hale Nani, his father William Hyde Rice’s home in Lihu‘e.  The elder Rice was governor of Kaua‘i from 1891 to 1893.

Princess Kawananakoa returned to Honolulu by steamer on Feb. 15.

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