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Queen Liliuokalani – First And Only Known Monarch Of Hawaii

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Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha-a-Kapaʻakea or commonly known as Lydia Liliʻuokalani Pākī was the first queen and last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, ruling from January 29, 1891, until the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893. She was born on September 2, 1838, in Honolulu, on the island of Oʻahu. While my natural parents were Analea Keohokālole and Caesar Kapaʻakea, she was informally adopted at birth by Abner Pākī and Laura Kōnia and raised with their daughter Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Baptized as a Christian and educated at the Royal School, her siblings and she were proclaimed eligible for the throne by King Kamehameha III.

Lydia was married to American-born John Owen Dominis, who later became the Governor of Oʻahu. They had no biological children but we decided to adopt several. After the accession of her brother David Kalākaua to the throne in 1874, they were given Western style titles of Prince and Princess. In 1877, after her younger brother Leleiohoku II’s death, she was proclaimed as heir apparent to the throne. During the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, she represented her brother as an official envoy to the United Kingdom. She ascended to the throne on January 29, 1891, nine days after her brother’s death.

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During Lydia’s reign, she attempted to draft a new constitution which would restore the power of the monarchy and the voting rights of the economically disenfranchised. Threatened by her attempts to abrogate the Bayonet Constitution, pro-American elements in Hawaii overthrew the monarchy on January 17, 1893. The overthrow was bolstered by the landing of US Marines under John L. Stevens to protect American interests, which rendered the monarchy unable to protect itself.

The coup d’état established the Republic of Hawaii, but the ultimate goal was the annexation of the islands to the United States, which was temporarily blocked by President Grover Cleveland. After an unsuccessful uprising to restore the monarchy, the oligarchical government placed her under house arrest at the ʻIolani Palace. On January 24, 1895, she abdicated the Hawaiian throne, officially ending the deposed monarchy. Attempts were made to restore the monarchy and oppose annexation, but with the outbreak of the Spanish0-American War, the United States annexed the Republic of Hawaii via the Newlands Resolution.

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