H.R.H. Pricess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui
High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Kekaikuihala Kekaʻaniʻauokalani Kalaninuiohilaukapu Laʻanui was born on September 11, 1834, the daughter of the High Chief Laʻanui & High Chiefess Theresa Owana Kaheiheimālie. Princess Elizabeth was officially eligible for the Hawaiian throne by royal decree of H.M. 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 King Kamehameha I, the High Chief Kalokuokamaile.
Elizabeth crossed periods from the early 1800's, during an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, during the time when 6 of her cousins became sovereigns, she witnessed the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani, and lived well into the 19th century.
In 1898, Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani publicly acknowledged Princess Elizabeth's future claim to the throne and on March 17, 1914 during a sacred ceremony, to mark the Centenary Birthday Celebration of His Majesty King Kamehameha III. Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani and Princess Elizabeth both sat on the palace thrones together signifying that they were the last two eligible rulers appointed by H.M King Kamehameha III.
The unfortunate death of the beloved Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1917 ended the dynastic line of succession with no legal heirs appointed to the throne. After the queens death, her cousin, the High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui became the head of the royal house as the only aliʻi and sole survivor of the royal family who is eligible to rule the kingdom. Princess Elizabeth was officially proclaimed eligible to the throne by King Kamehameha III and was groomed to be a ruler since the age of 5 years old. In 1917, Princess Elizabeth is the only aliʻi who could lawfully succeed to the vacant throne under the constitutional laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom and publicly proclaimed her sovereign rights as the head of the royal house.
As the Hawaiian Kingdom's Legislature is held in abeyance because of the illegal overthrow, International Law based on Natural Law provides that the most lawful claim to the throne or head of the royal house 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.
"The High Chiefess Princess
Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui is
officially eligible to be a ruler"
-H.M. King Kamehameha III
"I must mention...Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau"
"whose claim to the throne was acknowledged"
- Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani
In 1920 at the age of 86, Princess Elizabeth wrote "Keōua, Father of Kings", a book of her memoirs of the Kamehameha Dynasty and about her great grandfather, Keōua Kalanikupuapaʻikalaninui, information and chants that has been past down to her from generations from Keōua nui himself. She documents the sole heirs of the Keōua 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 Kaʻōhelelani, the daughter of her brother Kaʻilipalaki Laʻanui. Princess Elizabeth
passed away on December 20,1928 at the age of 94.
After the passing of Princess Elizabeth, her niece, Princess Theresa Owana Kaʻōhelelani 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 Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui in 1920
at the age of 86 years old
Published Statement of Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui:
"(My brother), Gideon Kailʻipalaki Laʻanui by his wife, Kamaikaopa left an only daughter, Theresa Owana Kaʻōhelelani 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 Keōua line, comprising the only descendants of the grand and famous chieftain, progenitor of the Kamehamehas"
-Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui, 1920
As the recognized head of the royal house of the Kamehameha dynasty, the High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau was the honorable ceremony officiator in some memorial events of the Kamehameha Dynasty, such as the unveiling of the tablets of the Battle of Nuʻuanu and the Birth Place of Kamehameha III. Also unveiling the tablet at Kawaiahaʻo Church dedicated to Amos Star Cooke, Instructor of the Royal School exclusively for the young royal chiefs who were eligible to rule.
June 28, 1909, Unveiling the Battle of Nuʻuanu tablet
The wailing of the winds was heard in the background of the royal chanter, Naha Hakuʻole, 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 Ponoʻi", the High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau 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 Nuʻuanu, 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 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 Lilʻiuokalani and a Hawaiian flag, both the property of and loaned by Hawaii’s venerable ex-queen for the sacred ceremonial. The Queen and High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui 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 Kekaʻaniʻau is a great grand niece of Kamehameha I.
Oldtime Dignitaries Attend
In back of Queen Liliuʻokalani 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 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 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 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.
Royal Members of the Kamehameha Dynasty Officiated
Queen Liliuokalani and High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui Pratt are the only two living aliʻi of the
Chiefs Children's School who were eligible to the throne which was established by
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 Kawaiahaʻo 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 Liliʻuokalani and the High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui Pratt. Both being the only aliʻi 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 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 by High Chiefess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui Pratt in 1897.
Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui 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 Kūwailanimamao (Mrs. Dwight Styne).
The aliʻi 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 Kaʻahumanu kept watch over the princess. The widow of Prince Kalaniʻanaole, Elizabeth Kahanu (Moʻi 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 Kawaiahaʻo church by Reverend Akaiko Akana on December 23. Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau had the privilege to be buried at Mauna ʻAla, royal cemetery, but she had requested to be buried next to her husband at Oʻahu Cemetery were she was laid to rest.