MY LAST ALOHA
I left Hawaii yesterday, and had to do One Thing Touristy before leaving: visiting the Iolani Palace.
This is the only royal palace on U.S. soil. The tour starts at the back door.
Voila! The Throne Room — complete with thrones.
It also served as the ballroom. Here is a gown worn by Queen Kapiolani.
Everything in the palace is original. Though all got sold off and scattered at the overthrow of the monarchy, the pieces now in the palace were donated or bought back. There are many gifts from foreign royalty and heads of state.
King David Kalakaua, the last king, traveled to Europe and America and he LOVED modern technology. He met Thomas Edison and had lights installed in Iolani Palace before any other head of state. Buckingham Palace and the White House were still using oil or kerosene lamps.
He was also an early adopter of the telephone☺ This connected to a phone in his chamberlain’s office, and a few others.
That phone was in the King’s bedroom. Also in his bedroom this kitty cat pelt.
There was even a bed in the bedroom but “king sized” was smaller then.
The Music Room seemed to be a joyful spot. King David was also engaged with preserving Hawaaian arts, music and dance. Guess where the King would sit.
Across the wide hall is the room where Queen Liliuokalani Hawaii’s last monarch was held in house arrest for 8 months. This is the quilt she made that told her story.
There was so much more that we saw but I’ll end with 3 more flora-faunaish shots:
The queen’s tiger claw necklace.
A be-diamoned butterfly. (I’ve never seen such bling !)
And Hawaaian war clubs – theirs have shark teeth. Yeowch!
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Before I took this tour, I read “The Last Aloha” by Gaellen Quinn – a work of historical fiction that took right into this palace and the court of Queen Liliuokalani. Easy, wonderful way to learn this history… I hope it gets made into a movie someday.
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I’m back on the Fiji side of the dateline. Happy week, everybody.
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