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H.R.H. Princess Theresa Owana Kaʻōhelelani Laʻanui


Her Royal Highness Princess Theresa Owana Kaʻōhelelani Laʻanui was the daughter of High Chief Gideon Kaʻilipalaki Laʻanui (great, grand nephew of King Kamehameha I) and High Chiefess Kamaikaopa, grandaughter of Keohokālole (mother of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani). Princess Theresa grew up during the time when H.M. King Kamehameha V was on the throne, she was adopted by her father's sister, the High Chiefess, Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui after her parents had passed away when she was very young.  Princess Elizabeth was a very important figure in the royal courts of King Kamehameha III, IV and V, she was officially eligible to rule and made preemptive to the throne along with the Kamehamehas, Lunalilo, Kalākaua and then became the Head of the Royal House after the passing of H.M. Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1917.

Princess Theresa became the head of the royal house after the passing of Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui in 1928, possessing the "fons honorum", continuing her royal prerogatives, her dynastic primogenitor rights as the legitimate "de jure" sovereign under an illegal occupation.


​"(My brother), Gideon Kaʻilipalaki 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 Keōua 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"


                     -H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth

                    Kekaʻaniʻau Laʻanui, 1920

When Princess Theresa became of age, she married first Alexander Cartwright III, the son of the founder of the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club and known as the "Father of Baseball".  He was also the estate trustee for Queen Emma, advisor for King Kalākaua and the Fire Chief in Honolulu

from 1850 to 1863. 


Princess Theresaʻs second husband, was the Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox, they owned and operated two Hawaiian newspapers, the Liberal and the Home Rula Repubalika, which were written in the Hawaiian and English language.  Their Newspaper was an opposition to the oligarchy's Hawaiian Gazette newspaper which was ran by the conspirators who overthrew Queen Liliʻuokalani and became a trustee of her estate.  The conspirator was William Owen Smith, an enemy

who would later frame Princess Theresa for forging the queen's will.


The oligarchy newspaper, "Hawaiian Gazette" was a voice of their occupied government.  But Princess Theresa and her husband's newspaper promoted the voting rights for Hawaiians to be restored and they became a thorn in the side of the oligarchs.   In addition to their publication, Princess Theresa and her aunt, Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau had submitted a claim, for the illegal ceded crown lands which was held in control under the new regime and with her husband Robert Wilcox's counter revolution against them to restore the queen, they were definitely considered a threat to the oligarchs.   Victory came in the year 1900 when Princess Theresa's husband Robert Wilcox was supported by many Hawaiians and was honored as a hero, so they voted for him to be the first U.S Territory of Hawai`i Delegate to Congress. 


Princess Theresa was well respected among authority figures of Hawaii & the United States. She was the very First Lady of Hawaii to enter the White House as the wife of Hawaii's first Delegate to Congress.  One of her many stories of living in Washington were often told of how she had left a party at the White House with young Theodore Roosevelt to get something to eat, because the snacks were to slim for her Hawaiian appetite. 

Princess Theresa was called upon by many, such as Queen Dowager Margherita of Savoy, Prince Ferdinando, Duke of Genoa and the Chinese Consul, Chang Tso Fan during a reception on New Years Day.  She was a master in coordinating luaus for events and political parties attended by Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani, she was known for her large luaus at her Kaimuki home which was called "Luauville" because of it. She started her own Paʻu riding club and a hula entertainment business.

In her elder years, the Royal Hawaiian Band would perform in front of her house on her birthday every year.  Princess Theresa wrote a song "Uluhua Wale Au" which was published in the King's Song Book. A beautiful waltz about the fragrance of Ka'ala, the highest mountain peak on Oahu.


Onaona e ka uka o Ka`ala

Kuahiwi `au i ke kai

Ho`omâhie mai ana i ka nahele

I ka nani o Kûwaipô  


Uluhua uluhua wale au 

Uluhua i ka wai a ka naulu 

Ia wai nihi a`e i na pali 

Ka lewa mauka o Mikilua 


`Elua no pu`u i `oi a`e 

A Hâlona e hi`ipoi nei 

O ka uhi wai no me ka lalana 

`Ekolu i ke onaona Iâpana 


Uluhua uluhua wale au 

Uluhua i ka wai a ka naulu 

Ia wai nihi a`e i na pali 

Ka lewa mauka o Mikilua

The fragrance from Ka`ala

Mountain washed by the sea

Permeates the woodland

And beautiful Kuwaipo


I am teased and tantalized

Vexed by the ever-present showers

That water that sweeps silently across the cliffs

And floats past the uplands of Mikilua


Two hearts are best

At cherished Halona

The heavy fog and the warming heat

Joined by the fragrance of the 

night-blooming Cestrum


I am teased and tantalized

Vexed by the ever-present showers

That water that sweeps silently across the cliffs

And floats past the uplands of Mikilua


Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox

Princess Theresa was married 4 times, although she only had children from her first and second marriages, her first husband was to Alexander Cartwright III,Having two daughters:

Princess Daisy Napulahaokalani & Princess Eva Kūwailanimamao


Her second husband was the

Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox, having children:

Prince Robert Keōua Kalanikupuapaiʻkalaninui & 

Princess Virginia Kahoa Kaʻahumanu Kaʻihikapumahana

another daughter, Princess Elizabeth Kaʻakaualaninui

who lived for only a few months.


 Princess Theresa Owana passed away in 1944. Her son, Prince Robert Keōua Kalanikupuapaʻikalaninui would have succeeded her as the head of the royal house, unfortunately he died in 1934 at young at the age of 41. Prince Robert's first child, Princess Helena Kalokuokamaile became the head of the royal house and continued the royal house prerogatives. After the passing of Princess Helena in 1988, her daughter, Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani Laʻanui Salazar succeeded her as head of the royal house and "fons honorum", and is continuing the royal house prerogatives.

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