Royal House of Keoua Nui

King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama with their nephews, Prince Alexander Liholiho, Prince Lot Kapuāiwa and niece Princess Victoria Kamāmalu

His Majesty King Kamehameha III

  Keaweaweʻula Kīwalaʻō Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa was the son of Kamehameha I & his high ranking wife, Keōpūolani.  He succeeded the throne from his brother, King Kamehameha II on June 6, 1825 and became known as King Kamehameha III.


He was given the name Kauikeaouli that puts his grandfatherʻs sacred kapu  -  as the importance of his name Keaouli of Keōua, which has the meaning of the dark, black, thick, esteemed cloud,

(a rain cloud). 

Pertaining to this kapu, and according to the prophet, Kapihe, upon the birth of Kamehameha III, he saw a bank of dark clouds high in the heavens, alerting him of trouble to the new born. Upon arrival to Keōpūolani’s birth of the young prince where he was placed lifeless and not breathing, the prophet and kahuna offered a prayer, bringing life back into the body of Kamehameha III testifying that the sacred kapu had saved the young prince.

 After he ascended to the throne and under his reign, Hawaiʻi evolved from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with the signing of  the 1840 Constitution, (the first Hawaiian Language Constitution), and the 1852 Constitution, also establishing treaties with other countries.  He was the longest reigning monarch in the history of the kingdom, ruling for 29 years and 192 days.

In 1839, H.M. King Kamehameha III established a family boarding school for the highest ranking chiefs children of the royal house, the school was called the Chiefs Children's School (later re-named Royal School).  These royal children were groomed to be fit to rule and the king made them officially eligible for the throne under the constitutional laws. 


In 1846, King Kamehameha III established the Great Mahele and distributed the lands of Hawaii. He set aside private lands for him and the crown, the chiefs and the government, later land was to be awarded to the hoa'aina - the natives who cultivated the land (Kuleana lands).


 Kamehameha III married Kalama on February 14, 1837 and had two children: Prince Keaweaweʻulaokalani I and Prince Keaweaweʻulaokalani II who both died as infants.


  Kamehameha III had a surviving son by Jane Lahilahi, a daughter of John Young who was his father's adviser. His name was Albert Edward Kunuiakea, who lived until 1903, although he was not named an heir or to be eligible to the throne because he was considered illegitimate. 


The king adopted his nephew, Prince Alexander Liholiho and claimed him heir to the throne. Kamehameha III died on December 15, 1854 and Prince Alexander Liholiho became king under the title of Kamehameha IV.

March 17 is the commemoration date of His Majesty King Kamehameha III, for which he celebrated his birthday on

St. Patrick's Day.


The centenary of Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III, was celebrated at Kawaiahaʻo 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 unveiling 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 Liliʻuokalani and High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui Pratt of the Kamehameha Dynasty, both of whom are lineal descendants of the Royal House of Hawaiʻi and King 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 Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau is a great grand niece of Kamehameha I.


Oldtime Dignitaries Attend

In back of Queen Liliuokalani and High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui 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 Kameʻeiamoku. 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 aliʻi 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 Kekaʻaniʻau 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 Ponoʻi 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 Kaʻahumanu, the Daughters of the Warriors, the Chiefs of Hawaii, Aha Hui Oiwi Ona Wahine, Aha Na Pua O Hawaiʻi and Aha Hui Poola O Na Wahine.

The Two Surviving Members of the Royal House of Hawaiʻi

Queen Liliʻuokalani and High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui Pratt are the only two living members of the royal house who were eligible to the throne and the last surviving students of the historic Royal School or Chiefs Children's School which was established by Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III to groom the young royals to be rulers.

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 lūʻau.