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H.M. King Kamehameha II


Kalaninui kua Liholiho i ke kapu ʻIolani was the son of King Kamehameha I & his high ranking wife, Keōpūolani succeeding the throne from his father on May 20, 1819, taking the title of Kamehameha II, he was also known as Liholiho.


Liholiho successfully maintained the kingdom established by his father, King Kamehameha the Great.  He achieved this in spite of rapidly changing religious, social and economic conditions, Liholihoʻs reign was a shared monarchy with his father's consort, Queen Kaʻahumanu as the kuhina nui.


Liholiho abolished, or ended, the kapu system and allowed men & women to eat together, he further announced to destroy the old heiau temples and the overthrow of ancient idols. This change occurred in November of 1819, only six months after the death of his father, Kamehameha I.


Liholiho allowed American missionaries to live in the Hawaiian Islands. This opened the way for missionary schools to be established to educate Hawaiians and promote the Christian religion.


In 1824, King Kamehameha II had gone to England with his wife, Kamāmalu for the good of his country.

On their way to London of February 1824 they arrived at Rio de Janeiro in the independent Empire of Brazil where they met Emperor Pedro I. The Emperor gave Kamehameha II a ceremonial diamond-encrusted sword with a gold sheath, and in return Emperor Pedro I was presented with a native Hawaiian feather cloak made from rare tropical bird feathers which in 2018 was lost in the fire that destroyed the National Museum of Brazil. Queen Kamāmalu received a diamond ring, in return, she offered a yellow feather necklace.

 In London on May 28, a reception with 200 guests including several Dukes was held in their honor and visited Westminster Abbey.  They also attended the opera and ballet at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden on May 31, and the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane on June 4 in the Royal Box.


 Unfortunately King Kamehameha II and his Queen Kamāmalu caught the measles and died in London. Kamāmalu died on July 8, 1824 and Kamehameha II died on July 14, 1824. King George IV, then reigning over Great Britain had their bodies conveyed to the islands by Captain Lord Byron. 


His brother, Prince Kauikeaouli succeeded him under the title of King Kamehameha III

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 Kamāmalu.  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 in 1897 by the cousin of King Kamehameha II, the High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka`aniau La`anui Pratt who became the Head of the Royal House from 1917-1928.

The Bust Figure of King Kamehameha II

                    by the British Monarch

Emperor of Brazil Pedro I was presented with this native Hawaiian feather cloak by King Kamehameha II in 1824 made from rare tropical bird feathers which in 2018 was lost in the fire that destroyed the National Museum of Brazil.

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