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