The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

She was called the "princess of peacocks" at home and the "flower of civilization" - in a foreign land. She could have happily ruled a piece of paradise on earth, but the ambitions of another big state destroyed her kingdom forever.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian KingdomShe has never been crowned, and yet it was she who was destined for the fate of the most famous and legendary ruler of the Hawaiian Islands. Her life-beautiful, romantic and noble-fell into the millstones of political games that led her country to the loss of independence. But Princess Kayulani fought to the last — not for herself and not for her throne, but for the happiness of her freedom-loving people.

She was born to the joyful ringing of church bells and the enthusiastic ovation of the subjects of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1875. For the small Pacific monarchy, which was barely 65 years old, it was a holiday akin to a national one: finally, an heiress was born in the family of the ruling, but, alas, childless, King Kalakaua.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Princess Kayulani's parents

The girl's mother was the younger sister of the monarch — Princess Miriam Likelike, and the father was a Scottish businessman Archibald Scott Cleghorn, who already had four more children from previous women. Unlike Puritan England, in faraway Hawaii, people lived with their hearts, and their morals were much freer. But even so, the princess's parents had to fight for the right to be together. And Kayulani herself will later have to endure a lot of attacks from the American press for her mixed blood.

The girl absorbed the best of the European and Hawaiian nationalities. Wide-open eyes the color of a noble chestnut, soft golden skin, long curly hair — she looked so much like an islander and at the same time so different from everyone else. Her first name — Kayulani-meant "royal sanctity", and the second — Victoria-not only referred to the famous Latin translation, but also generated associations with the legendary British queen who ruled Albert's homeland at that time.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Princess Kayulani, presumably 1881

Albert, a successful businessman in the past, built a luxurious, and, most importantly, a very cozy mansion for his family — first of all, thanks to the electricity carried out in it (this, by the way, became a sensation in The Kingdom — at that moment there was no light even in the American White House).

The Ainahau mansion became her mini-kingdom for little Kayulani. The girl thoroughly knew every corner of it. Restless and active, she often ran away from the governesses to the roof, hid in the branches of centuries-old trees, but most of all she loved to play with her peacocks, who freely and proudly walked around the estate.

For her attachment to these majestic birds, the heiress of the Crown will very soon receive the unofficial title "Princess of Peacocks"from her subjects - the one that no revolution can take away from her.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Hawaii, late 19th century

Yes, it was a real paradise on earth. Lost somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands were not only beautiful places, but also contained abundant thickets of sugar cane. It is the strategically advantageous position and sugar reserves that have made these lands the object of considerable interest and investment by many major powers — America, first of all. But the young princess did not delve into political issues much. She enjoyed her childhood.

However, I had to grow up-and very soon. Kayulani was only eleven when her mother died from a mysterious illness, and this news not only overshadowed the carefree existence of the girl, but also instantly changed the order of succession to the Hawaiian throne. The little princess was now getting up second in line — so we had to forget about peacocks and climbing trees. Now it's forever.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

King Kalakaua-Kayulani's Uncle

Kayulani's aunt, Liliuokalani, was next in line. There was only a 2-year age difference between the monarch and the next Queen. Kayulani's mother was younger than her brother and sister by 17 and 15 years, but with her death, the Hawaiian monarchy was losing a whole generation of rulers, so young Kayulani had to be urgently involved in royal duties.

The government of Hawaii — not without Albert's patronage-decided that the future queen should receive the best education. Languages, art, diplomacy — Kayulani's rule was supposed to be soft and liberal in contrast to the aggressive and contradictory reign of the current king. The choice of location was obvious. England — with its respected universities and glorious monarchical traditions-had to raise a real lady from a girl, restrained, but unshakable.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Kayulani's aunt-Liliuokalani, second in line to the throne

The latter had no doubt that Kayulani's star would be bright and legendary. He had known the girl from an early age — and from the first meeting he was fascinated by her so much that he dedicated an entire ode to her, calling the princess "the island rose".

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Kayulani was thirteen when the royal steamer took her and her half-sister Anna incognito to England. The girls were starting a new stage in their lives — but what an interesting one it was! The princess found the very height of the Beautiful Era. No, passionate and enthusiastic, Kayulani was not going to spend the whole year poring over textbooks (especially since lessons were already given to her easily).

He and Anna went to salons, galleries, listened to concerts. The princess charmed the British at first sight — of course, no one knew who she was, but her exotic appearance, sharp mind and talent for singing and drawing immediately fell in love with everyone she met.

There was also flirting with young people. Kayulani never behaved like a puritanical young lady, although her uncle the king had special plans for her, wanting to marry her niece to some foreign prince. But the princess was not a miss either.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Princess Kayulani…

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

...while studying in England

A year of study in England flew by like one day. Anna was called back to Hawaii, and Kayulani remained to continue her studies, traveling around Europe. Here — in the fifteenth year of her life, she learns about the death of the King and the accession of her aunt to the throne. And two years later she will receive an urgent dispatch with only three phrases:

Her Highness Kayulani was only 17 years old at that time.

Is it possible to imagine what feelings the young girl felt at the thought that half of her family is no longer alive, and her title, education and all her efforts to quickly modernize the island monarchy are no longer needed by anyone. The revolution in Hawaii thundered as a result of a conspiracy of anti-royalists and supporters of the kingdom's annexation to the United States (and with military assistance from the American military): the indigenous population was deprived of political rights, and the deposed Queen was imprisoned.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Washington has long looked at the Hawaiian Islands as its potential military base in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Within the States themselves, the press portrayed the people of Hawaii as barbaric, wild and completely unable to govern themselves, and the acting Queen and her heiress were described to ordinary Americans by uneducated Papuans. True, no one attached photos to the devastating articles, but this did not prevent journalists from slowly but surely convincing Americans that the annexation of Hawaii is a noble mission of the US government to save the non — independent islanders.

Kayulani received letters in ospreys, in which her loved ones urged her to take courage... and put up with it. The princess remained the only hope for her people, but no one even dared to assume that a 17-year-old girl would fight the American system alone. No one-except Kayulani herself.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The heiress courageously jumped on the nearest steamer — only she did not go to her homeland, but straight to New York-to talk to Americans and demand an audience with the president.

And America listened. It couldn't have been any other way. From a steamer moored off the coast of the Atlantic, the New York reporters suddenly saw not a half-naked barbarian, but an elegant lady with intelligent eyes, perfectly speaking English. The Americans couldn't believe their eyes.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The more It is Her Highness traveled around the States and talked to the press, the more she charmed ordinary Americans. An exotic beauty, Kayulani became the main character of glossy magazines and an example for millions of citizens to follow.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

Finally, the princess got a meeting with President Grover Cleveland... and he and his wife Frances liked her so much that the head of the White House immediately called on Congress to suspend the annexation of Hawaii and return her title to the legitimate Queen.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The solemn ceremony of the annexation of Hawaii, August 13, 1898

But, alas, the United States is not the country where the president decides everything. The Congress flatly refused to sacrifice the territories that will become another American state in the future. For four long years, Hawaii and their already helpless princess were waiting for their fate. But in vain: the new president, William McKinley, was not as indecisive as his predecessor. In 1898, Washington annexed the paradise kingdom of Kayulani, lowering its flag and depriving the population of the islands of their own voice.

On the day of the annexation of Hawaii to the United States, the princess and her surviving relatives were at home, dressed in mourning robes in protest.

The princess was defeated, but even in this situation, she was not going to abandon her people. For the next year, Kayulani and her aunt fought for the American government to at least expand the rights of the indigenous population of the islands. They invited the president to their cozy mansion for lavish receptions, where they introduced him to the most educated and intelligent representatives of their people… But it seemed that McKinley, by definition, did not know how to sympathize with others. In the same year, the United States will annex Cuba, the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

This marriage could strengthen Kayulani's position in her claims to regain the throne and independence. On the other hand, these two were half-English. For the Americans, this meant that Great Britain could claim the island state. They could not allow this to happen. So the engagement only hastened the inevitable. And it never came to the wedding…

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

A picture painted by the princess in 1890

This useless and sacred struggle incinerated Kayulani from the inside. In January 1899, she-riding a horse-was hit by a severe storm. By nature, the princess had a strong immune system, but the tortures of recent years have exhausted her body so much that a slight cold turned into a deadly test for her. A severe fever and pneumonia struck the princess down in a little less than two months. She was only 23.

The Annexed Paradise: The Life and death of the last Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The Deposed Princess of Hawaii, 1895

It is said that on the day of her death, her beloved peacocks screamed so loudly that they had to be shot. So, together with the last heiress of the Hawaiian Crown, it sank forever into the Leta and her legacy, which, alas, was never destined to blossom.

Keywords: Hawaii | Life | Princess | Tragedy

Recent articles

The Russian company Promobot offers to sell its face and voice to a robot for 200 thousand dollars
The Russian company Promobot offers to sell its face and ...

In the modern world, you can sell everything. The Russian android company Promobot has announced plans to buy the rights to use the ...

The first grave with a TV appeared at the cemetery in Novosibirsk
The first grave with a TV appeared at the cemetery in Novosibirsk

Funeral culture is constantly developing and at the same time does not deny innovation. The days of impressive gangster monuments ...

The story of Gunther the dog, who inherited the mistress's millions, turned out to be a fake
The story of Gunther the dog, who inherited the mistress's ...

The German Shepherd Gunther VI has become the hero of publications many times. News from the life of a dog who inherited millions ...

Related articles

14 surprising and frightening facts people have recently learned
14 surprising and frightening facts people have recently learned

Life isn't just about cute animals, fun artwork, and helpful stories. Our world is full of inconvenient historical and scientific ...

Erased from History: The tragic fate of Queen Elizabeth II's cousins
Erased from History: The tragic fate of Queen Elizabeth II's ...

The secret pages of the history of the British royal family were recently revealed in a new Netflix series called "The Crown" (The ...

Marilyn Monroe, Monica Lewinsky and 5 more star mistresses who ruined their chosen ones' lives
Marilyn Monroe, Monica Lewinsky and 5 more star mistresses ...

At first glance, it seems that a mistress, unlike a wife, does not play such an important role in a man's life. However, the ...