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Pre-emptives to the Throne

The Royal Family Boarding School

Princes' & Chiefs Eligible to be Rulers

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Royal School Begin

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, the Royal Family Boarding School was founded as the "Chiefs Children's School/Royal 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.

As the Succession to the throne is named by the sovereign under a proper royal proclamation or a ratified and approved constitution.  But 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.


King Kamehameha III gave first rights to the throne to these 15 aliʻi children of his family over any other aliʻi of the nation and sent them to board in the Chiefs Children's School, made them Preemptive to the Throne and officially proclaimed them Eligible to be Rulers 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:

Moses Kekuaiwa

Alexander Liholiho (King Kamehameha IV)

Lot Kamehameha (King Kamehameha V)

Victoria Kamamalu

Emma Rooke (Queen Emma)

William Lunalilo (King Lunalilo)

David Kalakaua (King Kalakaua)

Lydia Kamaka'eha (Queen Liliuokalani)

Bernice Pauahi

Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui

Jane Loeau Jasper

Abigail Maheha

Peter Young Ka'eo

James Kaliokalani Kapa'akea

Mary Pa'a'aina (later admitted)


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 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.

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


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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