High Chiefess Theresa Owana Ka'ohelelani was the daughter of High Chief Gideon Ka'ilipalaki La'anui (grand nephew of Kamehameha I) and Chiefess Kamaikaopa, grandaughter of Keohokalole (mother of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili`uokalani). Princess Theresa grew up among family political ties to the Hawaiian Kingdom as a descendant of royal parentage eligible to the throne. She would often go to the palace of King Kamehameha V to make leis for him when she was a child. She was 11 years old when she was adopted by her father's sister,

 the High Chiefess, Princess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui.

 

Princess Theresa became the head of the royal house possessing "fons honorum" after the passing of Princess Elizabeth Keka'aniau La'anui in 1928, continuing her royal prerogatives, her dynastic primogenitor rights as the legitimate sovereign under an illegal occupation.

Theresa and her second husband, the Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox 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 Gazzette newspaper which was ran by the conspirators who overthrew Queen Lili`uokalani and became the trustee of her estate.

 

The oligarchy newspaper was a voice of their occupied government.  But 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, Theresa and her aunt, Princess Elizabeth Keka`aniau had submitted a claim for the 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 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. 

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 some attended by Liliuokalani, she was known for her large luaus at her Kaimuki home which was called "Luauville" because of it. She started her own Pa`u riding club and a hula entertainment business.

Princess Theresa created the Ka'ohelelani Order in which the society led the processions for various events, such as the first memorial birthday parade for King Kalakaua and the royal funeral of Queen Lili'uokalani.

 

In her elder years, the Royal Hawaiian Band would perform in front of her house on her birthday every year.  The Princess 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 O'ahu.

"ULUHUA WALE AU"

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 Kuwailanimamao

 

Her second husband was the

Honorable Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox, having children:

Prince Robert Keoua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui & 

Princess Virginia Kahoa Kaahumanu Kaihikapumahana

another daughter, Princess Elizabeth Kaʻakaualaninui

who lived for only a few months.

 

 Princess Theresa Owana passed away in 1944. Her son, Prince Robert Keoua Kalanikupuapaikalaninui 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 Ka'ohelelani La'anui Salazar succeeded her as head of the royal house and "fons honorum", and is continuing the royal house prerogatives.

1936 Princess Theresa's life story pt.1

1936 Princess Theresa's life story pt.2

1860-1944
Princess Theresa Owana
Ka`ohelelani La`anui

Royal House of Keoua Nui