Day 16 – ‘Iolani Palace

Day 16

Destination: Construction of ‘Iolani Palace began in 1879 and was completed in 1882 when King Kalakaua and Queen Kapi’olani moved in. It is the only official residence of royalty in the United States.

Focus: History, Culture

Soundtrack for the drive: Michael Jackson, Off The Wall

Quote of the Day: Don’t stop ’til you get enough ~ MJ

Today is the 175th birthday celebration for King David Kalakaua and the palace is commemorating the event with a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band and a review of the palace guard.

Kalakaua was a descendant of the Kona Chiefs who helped Kamehameha I in his conquest and consolidation of the Hawaiian Islands. He held numerous government positions before taking the throne in 1874. A patron of the arts and a prominent socialite and entertainer, he is remembered as the Merrie Monarch. During his reign Kalakaua was the first king to visit the United States and the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe.

The crowd that has gathered is an interesting mix of gay guys and Asian tourists. I may be the only haole chick here. In true Hawaiian style everything is laid back,

and everything is on island time.

Across the street is the Hawaii Supreme Court with its welcoming statue of Kamehameha I and what is arguably the country’s prettiest post office.







Unfortunately I have to get to class and can’t stay for the performance which will hopefully start any minute now. In April there is a week-long “Merrie Monarch” festival for the “perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture” held in Kalakaua’s honor. I’ll be sure to plan more time for that in the spring.


One thought on “Day 16 – ‘Iolani Palace”

  1. Funny… That last picture of the post office, the 2nd story window on the right used to be my dad’s office. He worked for SHPDA, which is part of the health department in Hawai’i. Just before he retired, they moved out of that office to a different building, so they office is no longer there. I have some very fond memories of sitting in my dad’s office and doing homework before we headed home.


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