High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaikuihala Keka'aniauokalani Kalaninuiohilaukapu La'anui was the daughter of the High Chief La'anui & High Chiefess Theresa Owana Kaheiheimalie, she was born on September 11, 1834. Elizabeth was officially eligible for the Hawaiian throne by royal decree of King Kamehameha III who placed her in the Chiefs Children's School (Royal School) due to her high rank as the senior line of Keoua Nui, descending from the eldest brother of Kamehameha I, the High Chief Kalokuokamaile.
Elizabeth crossed periods from the old ali'i times well into the 19th century, during the time when her cousins became Kings & Queens and during the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.
After the death of Queen Liliuokalani in 1917, Elizabeth Keka`aniau was the only ali`i and sole survivor of the Chiefs Children's School who was legally eligible to the throne and was groomed to be a ruler since the age of 5 years old, she became the head of the royal house of Hawai`i after the last ruling sovereign.
International Law based on Natural Law provided that a legal successor to the throne and/or head of the royal house, which Princess Elizabeth possessed, can continue their royal prerogatives, "jura regalia" her dynastic rights as "de jure", the legitimate right of the sovereign, possessing" fons honorum", giving her the right to maintain royal titles and the right to appoint royal titles and honors, even under a deposed kingdom. By doing so, she maintains her protest under the occupying government, the prescriptive preservation of the royal house.
Royal House of Keoua Nui
In 1920 at the age of 86, Princess Elizabeth wrote "Keoua, Father of Kings", a book of her memoirs of the Kamehameha Dynasty and about her great grandfather, Keoua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui, information and chants that has been past down to her from generations from Keouanui himself. She documents the sole heirs of the Keoua royal line...a second edition was published in 2000.
Princess Elizabeth married the Honorable Frank Seaver Pratt, Consul- General of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Unfortunately, she did not have any children and her only heir was her niece, Princess Theresa Owana Kaohelelani, the daughter of her brother Kailipalaki La'anui. Princess Elizabeth
passed away on December 20,1928 at the age of 94.
After the passing of Princess Elizabeth, her niece, Princess Theresa Owana Kaohelelani inherits the "fons honorum" as head of the royal house and Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
The hereditary continuation of the dynastic rights of the head of the royal house to the primogeniture of the royal house is a life long protest against the occupying government
- the prescriptive preservation of the royal house is continued.
H.R.H Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui in 1920
at the age of 86 years old
Published Statement of Princess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui:
"(My brother), Gideon Kailipalaki Laanui by his wife, Kamaikaopa left an only daughter, Theresa Owana Kaohelelani who by her late husbands Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr. and the Honorable Robert W. Wilcox has a family of children and grandchildren forming the junior branch of the Keoua family, now living. They and I are the sole representatives of the Keoua line, comprising the only descendants of the grand and famous chieftain, progenitor of the Kamehamehas"
-Princess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui, 1920
The High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka`aniau was the honorable ceremony officiator in some memorial events of the Kamehameha Dynasty, such as the unveiling of the tablets of the Battle of Nu`uanu and the Birth Place of Kamehameha III. Also unveiling the tablet at Kawaiaha'o Church dedicated to Amos Star Cooke, teacher of the Royal School
June 28, 1909, Unveiling the Battle of Nu`uanu tablet
The wailing of the winds was heard in the background of the royal chanter, Naha Haku`ole, telling the beauty of the the Pali of its mountains, streams, flowers, of the birds, and the moon, the sun, the rainbows and of the rain and famous wind. After the singing of the National Anthem, "Hawai`i Pono`i", the High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka`aniau crossed over to the face of the cliff and unveiled the memorial tablet which was covered by the Hawaiian flag.
"Erected by the Daughters of Hawaii, 1907, to commemorate the Battle of Nuuanu, fought in this valley, 1795, when the invading conqueror, Kamehameha I, drove the forces of Kalanikupule, King of Oahu, to the Pali and hurled them over the precipice, thus establishing the Kamehameha Dynasty".
March 17, 1914 - A TRIBUTE PAID TO THE MEMORY OF KING KAMEHAMEHA III
The centenary of Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, was celebrated at Kawaiaha`o Church under the auspices of the Daughters of Hawaii. This old church, that has witnessed so many of the royal ceremonials of the Hawaiian people, was taxed to the utmost of its seating capacity. More than twenty-six hundred persons viewed the unveilling of the memorial tablet which had been prepared by the Daughters of Hawaii to mark the birthplace of “The Generous King” at Keauhou, in Kai-malino, Hawaii.
The tablet was hidden from view by the Royal Standard of Liliuokalani and a Hawaiian flag, both the property of and loaned by Hawaii’s venerable ex-queen for the sacred ceremonial. The Queen of the Kalakaua Dynasty and High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaaniau Laanui Pratt of the Kamehameha Dynasty, both of whom are lineal descendants of Keawe, were seated on either side of the memorial stone in the nave of the church. The palace chairs in which they sat were draped with ancient Hawaiian feather capes of priceless value. High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaaniau is a great grand niece of Kamehameha I.
Oldtime Dignitaries Attend
In back of Queen Liliuokalani and High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaaniau Laanui Pratt were High Chiefs Beckley and Hoapili, clad in the ceremonial feather cloaks and helmets of the Royal Courtiers. High Chief Fred Kahapula Beckley, the spear-bearer, is a direct descendant through his father’s side from Kameeiamoku. High Chief Albert Kalaninoanoa Hoapili, the kahili bearer, is a lineal descendant of Kamanawa, the royal kahili bearer. These two therefore, represented the spear-bearer and kahili bearer who are shown on the Hawaiian coat of arms and are descendants of the two chief court alii of Kamehameha I. On either side of the royal court representatives were the kahili bearers in ordinary, sixteen young men from the Kamehameha School for Boys, robed in feather capes and the costumes of the warrior of old, representative of the court attendants.
Queen & High Chiefess Releases Tablet Cover
After the singing of a hymn “How Firm a Foundation,” Rev. Henry E. Poepoe gave the invocation. Then the royal chanter, Mrs. Naha Hakuole, chanted the koihonua or song of geneology of the king. After this the Queen drew the cord releasing her Royal Standard or personal flag while High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaaniau released the Hawaiian flag covering the tablet. This impressive ceremony was followed by the koihonua, “The Prayer of Live,” the most sacred of all the ancient songs or chants of the Hawaiian people, rendered by Mrs. Hakuole. The legend is that Kauikeaouli was born as one dead and that life was restored to the body of the royal babe in answer to this “Prayer of Life” changed by the court chanter a hundred years ago. Succeeding this orations commemorative of the life and good deeds of Kamehameha were delivered by Judge A. S. Mahaulu, Rev. W. B. Oleson and Rev. John T. Gulick. At the close of Rev. Gulick’s sermon, in Hawaiian, the Kamehameha girls sang the Pauahi and Kamehameha songs dedicated to Mrs. Charles R. Bishop, the audience sang Hawaii Ponoi and Rev. Henry Parker gave the benediction.
Hawaiian Societies in Attendance
The Hawaiian societies which took part in the centenary celebration were The Daughters of Hawaii, Kamehameha Lodge, Aha Hui Kaahumanu, the Daughters of the Warriors, the Chiefs of Hawaii, Aha Hui Oiwi Ona Wahine, Aha Na Pua O Hawaii and Aha Hui Poola O Na Wahine.
Members of the Royal House Officiates
The last ruling sovereign, Queen Liliuokalani and the High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui Pratt are the only two living ali'i of the Chiefs Children's School who were eligible to the throne that was established by
His Majesty King Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha the Third.
Later, the tablet was transported to Kailua Bay and then by canoe procession to Keauhou Bay. The tablet was placed on the birth site of Kauikeaouli, followed by a ceremony and luau.
March 17, 1912
This tablet was dedicated to the memory of Mr. & Mrs. Amos Star Cooke and was placed in the vestibule of Kawaiaha`o Church. The tablet size measures six feet long and four feet wide and six inches thick made of marble. It was unveiled by the last two members of the royal house, Queen Lili`uokalani and the High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Keka`aniau La`anui Pratt. Both being the only ali`i alive who was groomed to be rulers and was taught by the Cookes at the Chief's Children's School.
The bust Figure of King Kamehameha II by the British Monarch
The bust figure of King Kamehameha II was given from King George IV of England when King Kamehameha II died on July 14, 1824 while on his state visit in London with his Queen Kamamalu. The British crown bought the lavish coffins and made the bust according to English royal tradition at funeral services. The bust was later donated to the the Bishop Museum by High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka`aniau La`anui Pratt in 1897.
Princess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui turned 94 years old when the Daughters of Hawaii held the last birthday celebration for Elizabeth at the Queen Emma's Summer Palace on September 11, 1928
when this picture was taken.
A favorite place of hers during the days spent with her cousin, Queen Emma. Her cherished memories is of her most loved cousin whom Elizabeth took the pleasure to accommodate little Emma when she first arrived at the Chiefs' Children's School. Sharing the boarding room at the school, Elizabeth taught the future Queen many things and eventually, became very close.
The Princess passed away 3 months later on December, 20, 1928 at the home of her grandniece, Princess Eva Kuwailanimamao (Mrs. Dwight Styne).
The ali`i tradition of "laying in state" for Elizabeth were observed throughout several days and nights. The Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors as well as the Hui Ka`ahumanu kept watch over the princess. The widow of Prince Kalani`anaole, Elizabeth Kahanu (Mo`i of the Warriors society) and Mrs. Emma Ahuena Taylor (Premier of the warriors) conducted the watches. The mourners came from the highest ranks of U.S. territorial government of Hawai`i such as the governor, Wallace Farrington and his wife and the ex-governor, Walter Frear, also prominent families of chiefly lineage and the royal societies. The services were then conducted at Kawaiaha`o church by Reverend Akaiko Akana on December 23. Elizabeth Keka`aniau had the privilege to be buried at Mauna `Ala, royal cemetery, but she had requested to be buried next to her husband at O`ahu Cemetery were she was laid to rest.