Categorized | Entertainment

Palace concert honors ‘People’s Princess,’ Oct. 18


The Daughters of Hawaii and Calabash Cousins present a free concert 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 at Hulihee Palace to honor the late Princess Kaiulani, who is fondly remembered as the “People’s Princess.” Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua Ui O Hawaii.

Bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided. Concert goers are encouraged to take advantage of the free “chair check” conveniently located across from the palace and enjoy the Kokua Kailua Village Stroll from 1-6 p.m.

Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kaiulani was the last heir to the Hawaiian throne. Born in 1875 to Princess Miriam Likelike, she was the niece of King Kalakaua.

“Her father was an Edinburgh Scot named Archibald Cleghorn, who was a governor of Oahu,” said Fanny Au Hoy, palace administrator. “The young princess, who was fond of peacocks, lived in Waikiki at the garden estate of Ainahau. Today, it is the present location of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel.”

A fellow Scot, Robert Lewis Stevenson, became friends with Princess Kaiulani and he wrote numerous poems about his “little maid.”

Known for her grace and hospitality, Kaiulani traveled abroad and studied in London as a teenager. Though a long way from Hawaii, she soon found herself in the fight to save the monarchy from American annexationists.

“Kaiulani went to Washington and visited President Grover Cleveland and his wife to plead her cause,” Au Hoy said. “Enchanted by the young, beautiful and fashionable Kaiulani, President Cleveland sent a personal representative to Hawai‘i to report on the political situation.”

Kaiulani’s aunt, Queen Liliuokalani, and others suggested the princess choose a husband to help Hawaii’s political situation: the nephew of the Emperor of Japan or her Hawaiian cousin, Prince David Kawananakoa. Bitter and disillusioned, Kaiulani realized her chance at the throne was gone forever when Hawaii officially became part of the U.S. in August 1898.

A few months later, after attending a wedding at Parker Ranch, Kaiulani got caught in a cold, cutting “Waimea rain” and the princess became seriously ill.

“Her father came to the Big Island with the family doctor and Kaiulani improved at Mana enough to be carried by litter to a ship bound for Honolulu,” Au Hoy said. “Back at Ainahau, her illness persisted, worsened and she died in two months; Kaiulani was 23 years old.”

The Stroll

The Kokua Kailua Village Stroll runs 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.

“People that come to Kokua Kailua are so happy they did,” event chairwoman Dorlene Kolina Chao said. “I get positive comments after every event. People come with their entire family, even their pets, to enjoy the afternoon, take in the free concert at Hulihee Palace, shop and to just have a good time walking Alii Drive.”

A behind-the-scenes volunteer committee works assisting Chao with each Kokua Kailua. There are gift basket give-away items to collect and assemble, road closure permits to secure, participant applications to screen and booth assignments to create.

The volunteers also help promote the event with flyers and advertisements.

“Its a lot of work, but it is so gratifying on event day to watch everyone enjoying themselves in beautiful Kailua Village that is is all worth it,” Chao said.

Kokua Kailua is seeking committee members and volunteers to help the event continue in to 2010. Contact Chao at 936-9202 if interested.

Kokua Kailua Hulihee Palace Concert and Village Stroll is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants Association, Hulihee Palace and Pacific Radio Group. The program is designed to rally support for merchants and restaurants and to remind residents to shop, dine and buy local.

Additional palace concert and village stroll dates for 2009:

Nov. 15: featuring the Hulihee Palace band

Dec. 13: featuring Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua Ui O Hawaii

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