the only royal palace in the US


yesterday we took a tour of iolani palace. the modern hawaiian monarchy was formed in 1810, when king kamehameha I consolidated rule of the hawaiian islands, until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown and queen liliuokalani was deposed. the palace was built by her brother king david kalakaua, during his reign in 1879. it's a beautiful little palace in the center of town and it's been such a joy to drive by and see most of my life.


it's a lovely mixture of hawaiiana and western culture. the native koa wood furniture and staircase just glow with a patina. the dining room table is set with original tiffany silverware gifted from napoleon III from france and crystal from what was called bohemia (now the czech republic).

each room features a different color filled with artifacts and period furniture, many of which were repatriated over time.

in 1893 the monarchy was overthrown and sadly queen liliuokalani was forced to abdicate and eventually imprisoned in one of the bedrooms in the palace for eight months. after her release she lived her remaining years in a residence called washington place, which was until recently the residence of the governor of hawaii. 

eventually hawaii was annexed by the united states government and became the 50th state in 1959. the palace was used for many years as various government offices and had come under disrepair. the group the friends of iolani palace was created to lead the effort of its restoration.

it's a wonderful tour and i'd recommend it to both visitors and residents. bravo to the docents and other guides who were wonderful!