HRH Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani visits
the Royal Miltary Academy in Turin Italy
On May 17, 2022 H.R.H. Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani, H.E. David Kealiʻimaikaʻi Castro, GCRC, Eleanora Cochran, DCRC and Emanuela Borgnino, DCRC visits the Royal Military Academy in Turin, Italy and was greeted by Major General Mauro DʻUbaldi, GCRC and Lt. Col. Enrico Spinello, GORC.
The Royal Military Academy in Turin is where Princess Owana's great grandfather, the Honorable Robert W. Kalanihiapo Wilcox attended in 1881. Robert Wilcox was selected by H.M. King Kalākaua to study at the Royal Military Academy in Turin, Italy, as part of the Education of Hawaiian Youths Abroad program. Wilcox was also elected in 1880 as Wailuku’s delegate to King Kalākaua’s Legislative Assembly.
While in Italy, Wilcox met and married his first wife, Italian Baroness Gina Sobrero. Their ill-fated marriage would later be annulled by Pope Leo XIII.
In the wake of the imposed Bayonet Constitution of 1887 by the Reform Party, monarchical powers were severely restricted and, among other things, the study abroad program was halted. Wilcox was then ordered to return home and lead two patriotic attempts on behalf of his sovereign and countrymen. The first was to overthrow the Bayonet Constitution and the Reform Government in 1889. The second was to restore the deposed Queen Liliʻuokalani and the Hawaiian Government in 1895. Both attempts were unsuccessful. For the latter attempt, Wilcox was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death, but was later pardoned.
After release from prison, Wilcox married Princess Theresa Owana Kaʻōhelelani of the Kamehameha Dynasty on August 20, 1896. Together they had a son, Prince Robert Kalanikupuapāʻikalaninui Wilcox, and a daughter, Princess Virginia Kahoa Kaʻahumanu Kaʻihikapumahana Wilcox.
Robert Wilcox and his wife Princess Theresa owned and operated two Honolulu newspapers, the “Liberal” and the “Home Rula Repubalika,” written in English and Hawaiian. Wilcox established the Home Rule Party (Hawaiian Independent Party) in 1900 in the interests of the Hawaiian people, and was elected as Hawaiʻi’s first Delegate to the U.S. Congress.
Wilcox and his wife, Princess Theresa retired to their Punchbowl home where he passed away on October 23, 1903. Today he is regarded as a national hero because of his commitment to defend the independence of the Hawaiian people and the monarchy.
HRH Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani in the courtyard of the Royal Military Academy
HRH Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani was interviewed by the Journalist Daurio Basile of the Corriere Torino Newspaper based and published in Milan, Italy
Statue of the Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox in Downtown, Fort Street Mall in Honolulu, Oʻahu
HRH Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani was given a special gift from the academy.
A plaque consisting of the coat of arms of the Royal Military Academy in Turin.
Presented by Major General Mauro DʻUbaldi.