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Royal School & Succession

Princes' and Chiefs of rank who are eligible to the throne


By the year, 1800 A.D., Kamehameha I became the first king of all Hawaiʻi by conquest when he united the Hawaiian islands.  His first son, King Kamehameha II inherited the throne on May 20, 1819 followed by his second son, King Kamehameha III on June 6, 1825. King Kamehameha III created the first constitution in 1840 

and secured treaties with other nations.

In 1839, a Royal Boarding School was founded as the "Chiefs Children's School" and was built on the lot where the old barracks use to situate, in back of ʻIolani Palace, where the State Capital of Hawai'i now stands. The school was created by King Kamehameha III for the purpose of grooming the highest ranking chief's children of the realm to be rulers. This ensured that the Hawaiian kingdom would continue through these aliʻi who were entitled to rule by rank.


King Kamehameha III called on seven boys and seven girls of his family to board in the Chiefs Children's School, and officially proclaimed them eligible for the throne under the Constitutional Laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

These are the royal children and future rulers that King Kamehameha III claimed eligible to the throne by Royal Decree:

hawaiian chiefs children school

From the sister of Kamehameha III, selected were Princess Kinau's children, Prince Lot (became King Kamehameha V),  Princess Victoria Kamamalu, Prince Moses Kekuaiwa & Prince Alexander Liholiho (became King Kamehameha IV)


From his brother, Ali'i Pauli Kaoleioku, selected was his great granddaughter, High Chiefess Bernice Pauahi 


From his father's younger brother, Ali'i Keali'imaika'i, selected was his great, great granddaughter, High Chiefess Emma Na'ea Rooke and great great grandson, High Chief Peter Young Ka'eo. 


From another younger brother of his father, Ali'i Kalaimamahu, selected was his great grandson,

High Chief William Charles Lunalilo (became King Lunalilo).


From his father's eldest brother, Ali'i Kalokuokamaile selected was his 

great granddaughter, High Chiefess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui.


From his grandfather's cousin, a direct line from one of the royal twins, Ali'i Kame'eiamoku and his brother, Keaweaheulu, their great great grandchildren, selected were:

High Chief David Kalakaua (became King Kalakaua),

High Chiefess Lydia Kamaka'eha (became Queen Lili`uokalani)

and High Chief James Kaliokalani.


Also from his grandfather's cousin, Kamehamehanui Ai`luau, daughters of Liliha III and Namaile were the

High Chiefess Jane Loeau Jasper and Abigail Maheha.


High Chiefess Mary Pa'a'ania was the daughter of

High Chiefess Kekela and Mr. Henry Lewis. 

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The Succession to the throne is named by the sovereign under a proper royal proclamation or a ratified and approved constitution.  Upon failing to name an heir to the throne, and if the throne should become vacant, Article 22 of the Hawaiian constitution states that the Legislative Assembly shall elect by ballot some native ali`i of the Kingdom as successor to the throne. 
The Legislative Assembly calls on these royal candidates of the highest ranking native ali`i from the list of eligibles to the throne submitted by King Kamehameha III.
After King Kamehameha III established the Constitutional Monarchy, the laws of succession and the eligible rulers, the heir to the throne was left to his nephew who became King Kamehameha IV on December 15, 1854.  Followed by his brother, King Kamehameha V who succeeded him on November 30, 1863.

King Kamehameha V

After the passing of King Kamehameha V, the ali`i who were eligible to rule was called upon by the legislature...

Kamehameha V had not named a successor to the throne before he died on December 11, 1872.  Which in accordance to the constitution, enabled the first election of the legislature to vote for an ali`i.  The candidates were those of the highest rank who were proclaimed eligible to the throne by Kamehameha III and was groomed to be a ruler at the Chief's Children's School.  Ali`i William Charles Lunalilo was elected and he became king on January 9, 1873.  

King Lunalilo


King David Kalakaua

After the passing of King Lunalilo,
the ali`i who were eligible to rule was called
upon again by the legislature...

King Lunalilo also did not name a successor to the throne before he died on February 3, 1874.  Which in accordance to the constitution, enabled the second election of the legislature to vote again for an ali`i.  The candidates again were those of the highest rank who were proclaimed eligible to the throne by Kamehameha III and was groomed to be a ruler at the Chief's Children's School.  Ali`i David Kalakaua was elected and he became king on February 12, 1874.  His legal heir to the throne was his sister, Princess Lili`uokalani who succeeded him on January 29, 1891 and reigned until the illegal overthrow in 1893.  Queen Lili'uokalani's only legal heir to the throne was her niece, Princess Ka`iulani who died childless in 1899.  Queen Lili`uokalani was the sovereign under an illegal occupation of the Hawaiian kingdom until her death on November 11, 1917, ending the dynastic line of succession.


Queen Lili`uokalani


High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Keka`aniau La`anui

Head of the Royal House

The unfortunate death of the beloved Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1917 ended the dynastic line of succession.  After the queens death, her cousin, the High Chiefess Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui became the head of the royal house and the only aliʻi and sole survivor of the royal family who attended the Chiefs Children's School.   She was officially proclaimed eligible to the throne by H.M. King Kamehameha III and was groomed to be a ruler since the age of 5 years old.   In 1920, Princess Elizabeth publicly proclaimed her sovereign rights as the head of the royal house.


  Under a deposed kingdom, it is her natural right under international law to continue the head of the royal house prerogatives as the "de jure" sovereign of the Hawaiian kingdom under an illegal occupation.

Today, the "fons honorum" of the royal house has been passed down following the primogeniture rights from generation to generation of  HRH Princess Elizabeth Kekaʻaniau Laʻanui to the present head of the royal house, HRH Princess Owana Kaʻōhelelani Laʻanui Salazar.  

Queen Lili`uokalani & Princess Elizabeth Keka`aniau unveiled this tablet together when it was installed in the historic Kawaiaha`o Church on March 17, 1912.  They were the last two of these royal members 

The Plaque at the entrance of Kawaiaha`o Church with the listing of the royal children who were eligible to the throne. 

Kawaiaha`o Church was the church of the chiefs in the early 1800.  The royal pews of the church was built for these ali`i children when they used to attend Sunday services.  They would enter the church in a procession with their paired royal partners to the pews where they sat with the king:

 First was Moses Kekuaiwa and Jane Loeau, next was Lot Kapuaiwa and Bernice Pauahi, then Alexander Liholiho with Abigail Maheha, followed by William Lunalilo and Emma Rooke, then came James Kaliokalani and Elizabeth Kekaaniau, after was David Kamehameha and Victoria Kamamalu, Peter Kaeo and Mary Paaaina, then John Pitt Kinau and Lydia Kamakaeha was the last to enter.

Drawing of the courtyard of the original Chief's Children's School as described by 

Princess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui

The lantern was given by Mataio Kekuanao'a and was lit from dusk to dawn

Amos Star Cooke

Instructor of the

royal children

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