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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2008

'Iolani Palace requires respect, decorum

By Edith Kawelohea McKinzie

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Photo by Friends of Iolani Palace

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The cornerstone of 'Iolani Palace was laid on Dec. 31, 1879, during the reign of His Majesty King David Kalakaua (1874-1891) and commemorating the 45th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Kapi'olani.

'Iolani Palace served as the formal residence of the royal family, which included the queen's sisters, Princess Po'omaikelani, Princess Kinoiki Kekaulike and her three children, Prince David Kawananakoa, Prince Edward Keli'iahonui, and Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole.

In spite of self-proclaimed titular assertions to royal status by Nalayne Mahealani Asing, the kingdom of Hawai'i has only one royal family the House of Kawananakoa whose living descendants are the legitimate heirs to the Kalakaua Dynasty by ali'i rank as having the highest chiefly lineage and by constitutional right of succession conferred upon Prince David Kawananakoa. If anyone has the right to camp on the palace grounds and conduct government business, it would be the Kawananakoa family, namely Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa, its senior ranking member, and no one else.

True to her chiefly birthright as the granddaughter of Prince David Kawananakoa and Princess Abigail Wahiika'ahu'ula Campbell Kawananakoa, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa holds great passion in all matters concerning 'Iolani Palace.

In 1966, her mother, Princess Lili'uokalani Kawananakoa, founded The Friends of 'Iolani Palace to prevent demolition plans that would have razed the palace and paved the way for a parking lot for the new state Capitol building.

As a matter of royal obligation, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa continues her family legacy to protect and preserve 'Iolani Palace, and as president of The Friends of 'Iolani Palace from 1971 to 1998, was the catalyst for that monumental restoration project of 'Iolani Palace, our nation's only royal palace.

As her heritage dictated, and as a result of her tireless leadership and selfless efforts, 'Iolani Palace is now recognized as a world-class edifice and museum of distinction.

Furthermore, under her stewardship of The Friends of 'Iolani Palace, control and use of the palace grounds was guided by formal and consistent policies for many years. Use of the property was not only through the Department of Land and Natural Resources, but also through the Friends, which having entered into a contract/lease agreement with DLNR, remains liable and ultimately responsible for anything that happens on these royal premises.

With this in mind, the civil right to assemble in peaceful protest is constitutionally provided for.

However, while we traverse the grounds surrounding 'Iolani Palace, we must all be ever mindful of its sanctity and carry ourselves with proper respect and decorum, as a matter of royal obligation that reflects well on who we are as Hawaiians.

Edith Kawelohea McKinzie is a retired instructor in Hawaiian language, literature and culture at Honolulu Community College, has been an instructor/ lecturer for the University of Hawai'i College of Continuing Education and is the author of "Hawaiian Genealogies" (Vols. 1 and 2). She wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.