top of page
hat crown_edited_edited.png

H.M. King David Kalākaua


King Kalākaua married the Chiefess Kapiʻolani, but had no children. He issued the titles of Prince to his wife's nephew's, David Kawānanakoa, Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and Edward Keliʻiahonui and became very fond of them.  The king unsuccessfully tried to expand his line of succession after his death by naming these 3 in-laws in his Will.  But his Will was not a legal line of succession according to the constitution.


His Majesty King David Kalākaua was named David  Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and was born on November 16, 1836.  His father was the High Chief Kapaʻakea from the powerful Royal House of Keawe of Hawaiʻi (Kalaninuiʻiamamao).  His mother was the High Chiefess Keohokālole and is descended from High Chief Keaweaheulu.

David Kalākaua was officially eligible for the throne declared by H.M. King Kamehameha III and was entered in the Royal Family Boarding School known as the Chiefs' Children's School or Royal School.

He became king by election on February 13, 1874 under the Hawaiian constitutional law when the throne was left vacant after the death of His Majesty King Lunalilo . The other proclaimed candidate from the eligible members to the throne was the Queen Dowager Emma Rooke, granddaughter of Kealiʻimaikaʻi (Kamehameha I's brother).


The controversial election was thought to be rigged and resulted in an uproar of Queen Emma's supporters, comprised by the majority of the Hawaiian people. The Marines from American & British vessels were called to restore civil order in Honolulu and to keep the peace, Queen Emma acknowledged David Kalākaua as the new king.


In 1881, Kalākaua went on tour of the world to visit the heads of state of which he was royally received. He was a 33rd degree Masonic member and Knights Templar, who built the grand replacement of ʻIolani Palace.  


 In 1887, King Kalākaua was forced to sign a new constitution known as the "Bayonet Constitution", restricting him of his powers.  This eventually led to the downfall of the kingdom, when his sister who became Queen drafted a new Constitution to replace it.


Queen Consort Kapiʻolani's nephews, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaole, Prince David Kawānanakoa and Prince Edward Abnel Keliʻiahonui

Queen Consort Kapiʻolani, wife of Kalākaua

On February, 14, 1874 King Kalākaua appointed his brother, Prince William Pitt Leleiohoku his successor, but Leleiohoku died on April 9, 1877.  The day after on April 10, 1877, King Kalākaua's sister, Princess Lydia Kamakaʻeha was named heir to the throne.


 Kalākaua's brother, Prince William Pitt Leleiohoku

H.M. King Kalākaua died on January 20, 1891 while he was in San Francisco. Princess Lydia Kamakaʻeha ascended to the throne on January 29, 1891 and became Queen under the title of Liliʻuokalani.

bottom of page