Hawaiian Royal Hats Part V: Hawaiian Royals Today

We wrap up Jake Short’s fascinating series on Hawaiian royal hats with a fifth and final installment today. Jake is a longtime Royal Hats reader and contributor and a very stylish hat wearer who you can follow on Instagram or Twitter. If you’ve missed his previous posts, link to all of them at the bottom. Immeasurable thanks, Jake for this fantastic series!

Claims To The Throne

Who is considered the heir to the Hawaiian throne nowadays is contested. Some consider Quentin Kūhiō Kawānanakoa, grandson of Abigail Kapi‘olani Kawānanakoa, to be the heir as his is directly descended from Prince David Kawānanakoa through primogeniture.

Others say the heir is Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike “Kekau” Kawānanakoa, seen below in a panama straw porkpie hat with a blue feather hatband). 

Abigail Kekau is the daughter of Lydia Lili‘uokalani Kawānanakoa pictured below, who was the younger sister of Abigail Kapi‘olani. Abigail Kekau was hānai adopted in 1932 by her grandmother Princess Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa with the idea she would be direct heir, hence why it is argued she is the correct heir.

If Abigail Kekau was to succeed to a restored Hawaiian throne, she would be the world’s second-oldest monarch (Queen Elizabeth II is only two days older) and also the first openly lesbian queen. Abigail Kekau also served as president of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace organization for almost 30 years.

Outside of the Kawānanakoa claims, Owana Ka‘ōhelelani Salazar asserts she is the true heir to the throne due to her family lineage and connections to the Royal School created by Kamehameha III in 1848. Before her death in 1988, Princess Helena Kalokuokamaile Wilcox named her daughter Owana and Owana’s son Noa as her direct heirs. Neither Abigail Kekau nor Quentin Kawānanakoa seem very interested in pursuing monarchical restoration; in contrast, Owana does so intentionally by interacting with other deposed royal houses from around the world, and bringing back the Hawaiian royal orders (although thus far not wearing royal hats, or at least not any I could find).

Japanese Imperials In Hawai‘i

Remember there was the possibility of a Hawaiian princess marrying into the Japanese Imperial Family? Despite never happening, there have been many Japanese immigrants to Hawai‘i in the last two centuries, and there is still a strong bond with Japan. As such, members of the current Japanese Imperial Family have visited Hawai‘i on several official occasions, often wearing hats.

On his way to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, then-Crown Prince Akihito visited Hawai‘i wearing a smart fur felt fedora. 1960 saw a visit from Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu, and Kikuko, Princess Takamatsu (uncle and aunt of Akihito); Nobuhito carried a fur felt fedora, while Kikuko arrived in a polka dot cloche with simple sashed hatband.

Akihito returned in 1960 with Crown Princess Michiko, who wore a typical 1960s-style cloche; the next day Michiko wore a traditional kimono, but Akihito carried an optimo-style panama straw hat. A 1966 visit saw Michiko wearing a stylized pillbox/bumper hat; other visits during the 1970s and 1980s by other Japanese royals (including Emperor Hirohito in 1975) saw no record of hats worn in Hawai‘i.

In 1994, Akihito and Michiko returned as Emperor and Empress of Japan, the Empress arriving in one of her signature wider saucer hats.

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Later that day and the next, she wore a pair of her signature pillbox percher hats. Both in ivory, the first was a shorter version covered in ivory silk flowers and avocado silk leaves. The taller design, worn June 24, 1994, was trimmed in an ivory and black bow to match her suit. 

The following day, June 25, 1994 saw two hats on the Empress: first a pale blue small disc hat with a large rose trim, and then a very wide disc hat with a rose and leaves trim on the front when they departed.

A final visit in 2009 saw another wide disc hat trimmed with a large navy blue silk bow, along with one of my favorite all-time hats for Michiko: this wider disc hat with flowers and leaves that coordinates perfectly with her raspberry and black outfit.

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During a 2018 visit to Honolulu with Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko wore a simple and sophisticated navy blue straw hat and the couple were photographed in Hawaiian leis. 

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Other Royal Visits

With the overthrow of the monarchy, the once strong connections with British royal family all but vanished (Hawai‘i’s flag does include the Union Jack due to these historical ties). But Hawai‘i has seen a few visits from the British royals since it became a U.S. state. On 27 March 1963, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were greeted by then-Governor John Burns; the Queen wore a smaller Breton-style hat during this visit 

A few years later in 1966, the Queen Mother visited Hawai‘i and danced the hula with famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku in one of her typical petal turbans. Duke Kahanamoku was born in the last years of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and was named after his father Duke, who was christened so after Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, visited Hawai‘i; Kahanamoku was also part of a lesser noble Hawaiian family and apparently also taught the Duke of Windsor (then Prince of Wales) how to surf when he visited in 1920. The Prince and Princess of Wales briefly visited Hawai‘i in 1985, although sans hats.

Conclusion

It remains a sad part of history the Kingdom of Hawai‘i is no longer with us today for many reasons, including for us at Royal Hats not having more possible hats to admire. With decades of close relations with the British, one can only imagine what those may have looked like today; would Hawai‘i be part of the Commonwealth today? Or what if deeper connections with the Japanese Imperial Family had been pursued further? (This is especially interesting when you consider how a continuing independent Hawai‘i or a Hawai‘i as head of a Polynesian federation would’ve changed the course of history, including WWII.)

While the number of hats sported by Hawaiian royals was not vast, it is much more numerous than one might expect, and that’s of course only what was photographed at the time. As a final additional side note, the Daughters of Hawai‘i, a group dedication to the historic preservation of Hawaiian royal palaces, have been seen many times wearing all-white ensembles, including white portrait hats.

I have not visited Hawai‘i yet, but I hope to one day get there and see places of historical importance like the ‘Iolani Palace. Have you been to Hawai‘i? Were you aware of all this history? I hope you’ve enjoyed this unique look at the Royal Hats of Hawai‘i as much as I did discovering them.

Thank you Jake, for all of the research and thought put into this series. It has been insightful, engaging and educational. I have one thing to add- a photo I took in 2017 at The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, designated the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, in Honolulu. These hats were from the Hawaiian Royal Collection- I’m afraid, at the time, I was more intrigued by the beautiful and intricate woven pattern than I was at who had worn them. If anyone has  further information they can share, please do!

Stay tuned later this summer for another series from Jake! His previous guest posts at Royal Hats include: 

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part I   
Hawaiian Royal Hats Part II: World Tour and Golden Jubilee
Hawaiian Royal Hats Part III: Bayonet Constitution and Illegal Overthrow
Hawaiian Royal Hats Part IV: After the Monarchy and Into the 20th Century
Men’s Royal Hats
Royal Men’s Hats: Fedoras and Trilbys
Royal Men’s Hats: Caps and Berets
Royal Men’s Hats: Pork Pies, Hombergs, Boaters, Bowlers and the Rest
Recommend Hat Repeats for  Queen Elizabeth
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Máxima Part I and Part II
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Margrethe
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Mathilde

Images from Getty and social media as indicated; The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun, via Getty; U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. LuCelia Ball;  Private Collection.

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part IV: After the Monarchy and Into the 20th Century

We continue with a series on Hawaiian royal history and hats, researched and written by longtime reader Jake Short. You can find Jake on Instagram or Twitter and can link back to any of his previous guests posts at the bottom. Welcome, Jake!

After the death of Queen Lili‘uokalani in 1917 at age 79, plans to try to restore the monarchy waned and legal disputes for restoration and/or compensation offered no results. Prince Kūhiō, who has a Hawaiian state holiday named after him now, eventually became the Hawaiian Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, the only person of royal birth to serve in the U.S. Congress. 

He wore many hats over the years including this brushed felt fedora

these top hats

and this western-style, flat-brimmed fedora.

Even when he was in jail after participating  in the 1895 Wilcox Rebellion to take back Hawai`i after the illegal overthrow of the monarchy, he was photographed in a hat!. Kūhiō’s wife, Elizabeth Kahanu Kalanianaʻole, also wore many hats as the wife of a government official in the early part of the 20th Century. Prior to serving as Delegate, Kūhiō and Elizabeth visited Europe, where they were treated as visiting royalty, and he served in the Second Boer War with the British Army.

Prince David Kawānanakoa, considered heir to the Hawaiian throne after the death of Crown Princess Ka‘iulani based on King Kalākaua’s order of succession, supported the monarchy’s restoration. He was also arrested for treason after the Wilcox Rebellion but released as there was no evidence against him. You will recall that Princess Ka‘iulani tragically died during their engagement; David later married Abigail Campbell.

 

Abigail Campbell’s mother, Abigail Kuaihelani Bright was part of the Hawaiian nobility.  

Interestingly, while Prince David Kawānanakoa helped found the Hawaiian Democratic Party, his wife Princess Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa was a leader in the Republican Party. In 1920, Abigail met the Prince of Wales (future Edward VIII) and the future Earl Mountbatten of Burma when they visited Hawai‘i in a portrait hat that wouldn’t look completely out of place today. 

David and Abigail’s eldest child Abigail Kapi‘olani Kawānanakoa can be seen here at Prince Kūhiō’s funeral in a wide-brimmed white portrait hat.

Thanks Jake. I find it fascinating when royals continue serving their country in governing roles after their monarchy is abolished – is that choice to run for public office fueled by loyal commitment to service? Desire to hold onto power? Maybe leadership is simply in their DNA? Politics aside, Prince Kūhiō’s hats were very handsome!

Jake returns next Wednesday with the fifth and final installment in this series. His previous guest posts at Royal Hats include: 

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part I   
Hawaiian Royal Hats Part II: World Tour and Golden Jubilee
Hawaiian Royal Hats Part III: Bayonet Constitution and Illegal Overthrow
Men’s Royal Hats
Royal Men’s Hats: Fedoras and Trilbys
Royal Men’s Hats: Caps and Berets
Royal Men’s Hats: Pork Pies, Hombergs, Boaters, Bowlers and the Rest
Recommend Hat Repeats for  Queen Elizabeth
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Máxima Part I and Part II
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Margrethe
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Mathilde

Images from Getty and social media as indicated 

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part III: Bayonet Constitution and Illegal Overthrow

We continue with the third installment of a series on Hawaiian royal hats today by longtime reader Jake Short. You can find Jake on Instagram or Twitter and can link back to any of his previous guests posts at the bottom. Thanks, Jake for this fascinating series!

Bayonet Constitution

While Queen Kapi‘olani and sister Princess Lili‘uokalani were in Europe attending Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, King Kalākaua faced more dire circumstances. The Hawaiian League (a secret society that formed in early 1887 with the purpose of annexing Hawaii to the United States) and American businessmen controlled a vast majority of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s wealth at the time. On  June 30, 1887, the Honolulu Rifles (white soldiers who had become the secret military arm of the Hawaiian League) and Reformed Party politicians joined forces, demanding that King Kalākaua dismiss his loyal Cabinet and endorse a new constitution stripping him of his personal authority and transferring power to the legislature and cabinet of the government.


Pre-1874 portrait of King Kalākaua

King Kalākaua found himself with no choice but to comply with these demands. Within a week, a new constitution was drafted by lawyers all associated with the Hawaiian League. The king signed it on July 6, 1887 under duress (multiple sources suggest he genuinely believed his life was in danger if he did not) but it was never ratified in the Hawaiian legislature. Because of the force used to gain Kalākaua’s cooperation, it became widely known as the “Bayonet Constitution.”

The Bayonet Constitution allowed the Hawaiian monarch to appoint a cabinet but placed that cabinet under the sole authority of the legislature. It also required any executive actions of the monarch receive cabinet approval. Voting rights were denied to naturalized Asians and vastly restricted for many native Hawaiians, leaving power in the hands of American and European men, most of whom were already profiting greatly from their business interests on the island kingdom.

Illegal Overthrow

In late 1890, King Kalākaua traveled to California, officially for health reasons but possibly also for further political negotiations with the United States. 

Already unwell, he died on January 20 ,1891 and his sister Lili‘uokalani succeeded him as Hawai‘i’s first Queen Regnant. Queen Lili‘uokalani is among the most photographed hatted Hawaiian royals.

In the first year of her reign she toured all the islands in the Kingdom. During a visit to Waimānalo on O‘ahu, she and her retinue wore a variation of the feminine boater popular at the end of the Victorian era.

In an undated photograph, she wears a beautiful pleated fabric hat with ostrich feather trim. 

A learned intellectual and effective governmental leader, Lili‘uokalani was also a composer of at least 165 songs, the most famous being “Aloha ‘Oe”. You can listen to it here

In early 1893, Queen Lili‘uokalani tried to overrule the Bayonet Constitution with the introduction of a new constitution that would restore the power of the monarchy and voting rights of the economically disenfranchised. Threatened by this, the pro-American Western elites, bolstered by the landing of US Marines to protect American interests, overthrew the monarchy on January 17,1893.

Despite U.S. President Cleveland’s administration’s conclusion that the overthrow was illegal and condemnation of the use of U.S. troops in the takeover, the Republic of Hawai‘i was declared on July 4, 1894. Six months later, a rebellion was launched with the aim of restoring the queen and the monarchy. Its failure led to the arrest of many of the participants and monarchist sympathizers, including the queen herself. Imprisoned in an upstairs bedroom at Iolani Palace, she creatively broke through the embargo of political information around her by requesting daily hula performances. She was granted this seemingly innocent request, her captors oblivious to the updates and information conveyed to her each day through the dance! 

On January 24, 1895 Queen Liliʻuokalani abdicated her throne in return for the release (and commutation of the death sentences) of her jailed supporters, officially ending the deposed monarchy. The Hawaiian League met their ultimate goal in 1898 when the republic was annexed by the U.S.;  the territory became the 50th U.S. state in 1959.

In the years after her overthrow, Queen Lili‘uokalani dressed like most of her contemporaries in the late Victoria and Edwardian fashions of the day.  

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King Kalākaua’s order of succession decreed Lili‘uokalani’s successor was to be his niece, Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani.

Ka‘iulani traveled to the U.K. in 1889 at age 13 to pursue a British education in the hopes it would better prepare her to become queen. During her studies abroad, news of her aunt’s deposition arrived and Crown Princess Ka‘iulani traveled to the U.S. to draw support of her Kingdom’s independence. Her education, articulation, and fashionable appearance endeared her to many despite the heavily racist attitudes of the time.

Her efforts were unfortunately in vain and she returned to Europe for a few more years of study before traveling home to Hawai‘i in 1897. As a way to help secure the line of succession for future generations,Queen Lili‘uokalani asked Princess Ka‘iulani to marry one of three men: Prince David Kawānanakoa, Prince Jonah Kūhiō, or Prince Komatsu Akihito (half-brother of Prince Higashifushimi Yorihito, who King Kalākaua tried to arrange a marriage with in 1881). Ka‘iulani chose Prince David Kawānanakoa but sadly, she died at age 23 in 1899 before they married.

Here is an excellent overview of Queen Lili‘uokalani’s life and reign (featuring lots of great Hawaiians hats!)

Thank you Jake, for another insightful installment in this series and this look at the very unfortunate end of this royal house. 

Jake returns next Wednesday with the fourth installment in this series. His previous guest posts at Royal Hats include: 

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part I   
Hawaiian Royal Hats Part II: World Tour and Golden Jubilee
Men’s Royal Hats
Royal Men’s Hats: Fedoras and Trilbys
Royal Men’s Hats: Caps and Berets
Royal Men’s Hats: Pork Pies, Hombergs, Boaters, Bowlers and the Rest
Recommend Hat Repeats for  Queen Elizabeth
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Máxima Part I and Part II
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Margrethe
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Mathilde

Images from Getty and social media as indicated; photo collection of Queen Liliuokalani

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part II: World Tour and Golden Jubilee

We continue our series on Hawaiian royal hats today with a second installment presented by longtime reader Jake Short. You can find Jake on Instagram or Twitter and can link back to any of his previous guests posts at the bottom. Welcome back, Jake!

World Tour

After being the first reigning monarch to visit the U.S. in 1874-1875, King Kalākaua embarked on an ambitious world tour in 1881 and was the first monarch to circumnavigate the earth.

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He began his travels with a stop in Japan, becoming the first foreign head of state to visit the previously isolationist nation. This trip included a proposal from King Kalākaua to Emperor Meiji that his young niece Victoria Ka‘iulani (daughter of his sister Miriam Likelike, seen here in a smaller Victorian hat) would have an arranged marriage with Prince Higashifushimi Yorihito, a member of a cadet branch of the Japanese Imperial Family. While nothing came of this proposal, the possibility of what could’ve been remains fascinating (the video claims Prince Yorihito was a son of Emperor Meiji, but he was instead a cousin to the main imperial line).

Kalākaua continued westward, meeting King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Thailand), Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor in Malaysia, Khedive Tewfik Pasha of Egypt, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Italy, and Pope Leo XIII before arriving in Great Britain. At Windsor Castle, Kalākaua was formally presented to Queen Victoria, the Prince andPrincess of Wales (future King Edward VII), and the Crown Prince andCrown Princess of Germany (future Kaiser Friedrich III). Afterwards he traveled to Belgium and met King Leopold II, then the future Kaiser Wilhelm II in Berlin, and finally King Luís I in Portugal. From Europe the King traveled to the United States where he met Thomas Edison and discussed electrifying the street lighting of Honolulu. Kalākaua returned to Hawai‘i at the end of October 1881, 281 days after he first left. The European monarchies’ elaborate styles influenced the final construction and decoration of ‘Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in America today.

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Before and during Kalākaua’s reign there were ideas put forward to create a Polynesian federation to protect against further Western aggression in the region. It was proposed Hawai`i to lead the group including the Kingdoms of Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, and more (although not Aotearoa New Zealand).

In another random connection with European royalty, King Kalākaua privately entertained unknown royals in 1889 who were traveling incognito as the Count and Countess de Bardi, all wearing hats and clothing typical of the late Victorian era.Since Prince Henry of Bourbon-Parma (son of duke Charles III of Parma) and Infanta Adelgundes of Portugal (daughter of King Miguel of Portugal)  held subsidiary titles of Count and Countess of Bardi, they seem a strong possibility.

Golden Jubilee

Six years after King Kalākaua’s world tour, his wife Queen Kapi‘olani and sister Princess Lili‘uokalani traveled to the United Kingdom to attend the events surrounding Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in June of 1887 with a plan to tour Europe afterwards. Unfortunately, their European tour was later cancelled upon hearing about the Bayonet Constitution forced upon Kalākaua, something we’ll look at in closer detail in the next post. On their way, they visited President Grover Cleveland in Washington, D.C.

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Once in the U.K., Queen Kapi‘olani was photographed in an unusually shaped, very tall hat:

while Lili‘uokalani was photographed wearing a bonnet hat (seated second from right below) typical of that time. 

Queen Kapi`olani and Princess Lili`uokalani wore formal gowns with feathers and motifs representing their native land that so impressed Queen Victoria, she requests official portraits of them be taken. It’s worth noting that the Hawaiian royals were among 54 foreign monarchs, royals, and nobles represented at the Golden Jubilee, and were 2 of only 12 not from Europe.

Queen Kap’iloani

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Thank you Jake, for another fascinating look at a royal house and time in history that deserves our attention. If I may add another detail-  the Iolani Palace in Honolulu has an excellent Alii Garment Reproduction Collection. One of their more recent additions is an incredible reproduction of Queen Kapiolani’s coronation gown and robe, painstakingly researched and recreated by Hawaiian designer Kini Zamora. If you find yourself in Honolulu, I highly recommend leisurely visits to both the Iolani Palace and the Bishop Museum!

Jake returns next Wednesday with the third installment in this series. His previous guest posts at Royal Hats include: 

Hawaiian Royal Hats Part I   
Men’s Royal Hats
Royal Men’s Hats: Fedoras and Trilbys
Royal Men’s Hats: Caps and Berets
Royal Men’s Hats: Pork Pies, Hombergs, Boaters, Bowlers and the Rest
Recommend Hat Repeats for  Queen Elizabeth
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Máxima Part I and Part II
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Margrethe
Recommend Hat Repeats for Queen Mathilde

Images from Getty and social media as indicated; The Bishop Museum;  

Hawaiian Royal Hats: Part 1

Every Wednesday in May, we will be joined by longtime reader and regular commenter Jake, who lives in Washington DC and can be found on Instagram or Twitter, for a series on Hawaiian royal hats. Jake’s previous series on royal men’s hats and suggestions for hats from the wardrobes of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Maxima, Queen Margrethe and Queen Mathilde warranting repeat have provided both entertainment and education to all of us. Jake- I’m so pleased to welcome you back. 

To observe the anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i on 17 January 1893, I wanted to offer my fellow Royal Hats readers a look at the hats worn by the royals of Hawai‘i, a place many may not know was once a respected nation. While I could just show you photos of various royal hats, I believe not offering any sort of historical context (especially as almost all of these hats are from 100-200 years ago) would be disrespectful to a people and culture quite different from most of our own. Therefore, these posts will be more wordy than usual, offering up small history lessons in the process, but I hope you will still find them interesting. As much as possible, I try to use the native Hawaiian spellings of names and places. And while I did my best to ensure accuracy, I apologize in advance for any mistakes and hope you will correct me as well. So, without further ado, let’s discover these Hawaiian royal hats!

Kingdom of Hawai‘i

Some of you may be aware that in the 19th Century, Hawai‘i was an independent nation. The Kingdom of Hawai‘i began in 1795 under the rule of Kamehameha I (a.k.a. Kamehameha the Great). The House of Kamehameha ruled for the majority of the Kingdom’s existence before passing to the House of Kalākaua in 1874.

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After its unification, Hawai‘i worked to assert its independence after multiple incursions by foreign powers. In 1842, a delegation was sent to the United States and Europe to gain recognition by others as a sovereign nation. The Anglo-Franco Proclamation of 28 November 1843 officially recognized the Kingdom of Hawai‘i in Europe; the Proclamation was signed by Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and King Louis-Philippe of France (King Leopold I of Belgium urged Louis-Philippe to recognize Hawaiian independence). The U.S. did not sign onto this declaration and it wasn’t until 1849 the U.S. recognized the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i was the first non-European indigenous nation to be recognized as an equal to the Western powers.

Many people find the genealogy of European royals to be quite intertwined and confusing, but keeping straight who is who in the Hawaiian Royal Family is sometimes even more difficult. The Polynesian practice of informal adoptions, known as hānai was quite common among Hawaiians of all classes, as was the use of multiple names (both formal and informal) and possibly changing names if a name was deemed harmful (i.e. seemed to bring bad luck). Surnames were not used until the 1860 Act to Regulate Names, which worked to codify how children should be named; despite this act, many Hawaiian royals still had multiple name changes in their lifetimes. Therefore, I try to use what is generally considered a person’s most popular name or combination of names when identifying them, whether they are Hawaiian or English names, or both.

With that brief historical introduction to get us acquainted with the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, let’s move into what this blog is all about: royal hats! Traditionally in Hawai‘i, hats have not been a common accessory, although the mahiole feather helmet were worn by the highest ranking men of the ali‘i (Hawaiian noble class); most other hats came from outside influences. As a monarchy that came to be seen as equal to European kingdoms and principalities, Hawaiian royals quickly integrated Western-style outfits and fashions into their wardrobes, which included hat styles common for the 19th Century.

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Embracing the West While Maintaining Tradition

King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamāmalu traveled to London in 1824; on the way they met with Emperor Pedro I of the newly formed Empire of Brazil and exchanged gifts. Once in London, they made quite an impression (being dark-skinned, of course), especially as Queen Kamāmalu was over 6 feet tall. While there, they were dressed according to European customs, and a turban worn by Kamāmalu apparently became quickly popular among London’s society ladies.

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Unfortunately the King and Queen contracted measles and died in July 1824 in London; they were both only in their 20s. Despite this great sadness, they were the first of multiple Hawaiian royals to visit the U.K. and this helped begin a long relationship with the British Royal Family.  Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, later visited Hawai‘i in 1869.

Western fashions continued to become more common among the Hawaiian royals, as seen on King Kamehameha IV in a military dress uniform, including ceremonial hat.

His wife, Queen Emma, is shown below wearing a traditional Victorian headdress and bonnet. Queen Emma bonded quickly with Queen Victoria during a visit to the U.K. in 1865, both being widowed at a younger age. Queen Victoria was also a godmother to Emma’s son Albert Kamehameha, who unfortunately died at age 4 in 1862.

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Unfortunately photos of Hawaiian royals remain fairly scarce, but here are some I hope you enjoy:

Crown Princess Victoria Kamāmalu, sister of King Kamehameha IV and granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, wears a star-trimmed kokoshnik-shaped hat in this 1865 photo.

David Kalākaua, who would later be chosen king, wearing a jaunty straw hat c. 1850 at age 14.

King Kalākaua holds a boater hat while meeting Robert Louis Stevenson in this c. 1889 photo.

Princes Jonah Kūhiō, David Kawānanakoa, and Edward Keli‘iahonui are seen here in cadet uniforms and caps.

Princess Po‘omaikelani, younger sister of Queen Kapi‘olani (King Kalākaua’s wife) in a small hat with an upturned brim typical of the late Victorian era (below left).High Chieftess Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi Crowningburg, a second cousin of King Lunalilo, was photographed wearing a beautifully detailed Victorian straw percher hat with floral and ostrich feather trim and ribbons hanging off the back (below right)..

The  following video offers helpful explanation of the Hawaiian royal family tree.

Jake- what a fascinating start to this series and view at some wonderful Victorian hats. I look forward to Part 2 next week!

Images from Getty and social media as indicated; The Bishop Museum; Wikipedia Commons