'Iolani Palace: A Chapter in Hawaii's Royal History23 January 2014
As I mentioned before, in the center of downtown Honolulu stands the regal 'Iolani Palace. It is the only palace on US soil but it was not the first palace to exist on this site.
Up until 1879, a much more humble building stood on these grounds. It wasn't even considered the capitol as the king would often move about residences on several different Hawaiian islands. It was not until King Kalakaua returned from a tour of the world (making him the first monarch to circumvent the globe) that he ordered a new palace to be built; one that exuded the royal power of the Hawaiian crown and showed the world their strength.
|staircases in the entry hall|
|the blue room|
|the dining room|
But just a beautiful building wasn't enough. King Kalakaua called upon someone he met during his travels, Thomas Edison, to personally come to the palace and install electricity and phones to make it the most technologically advanced building on the isles. It even had electricity before Buckingham or the White House.
|the throne room|
|King Kalakaua's bedroom|
After King Kalakaua passed, Queen Kapiolani, his sister, ascended the throne. She wanted to return power to the native Hawaiians but was met with much contempt. Though her cabinet agreed with her, they were much too afraid to confront the powerful businessmen which had all but taken control of the country.
|Queen Kapiolani's bedroom|
Eventually the crown was overthrown and Queen Kapiolani was locked in one of the second floor bedrooms to live in exile in her own palace. In 1894, the country officially became the Republic of Hawaii. Later, in 1959, it became a US state.