Victoria Kaiulani – Hawaiian princess
Victoria Kaiulani was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii. She was a princess because her uncle, King Kalakaua, did not have children. Kaiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence, beauty and determination.
Victoria was born on October 16, 1875 in Hawaii. Her childhood was like a fairy tale. She played with giant turtles and fed beautiful birds, rode a white horse and went surfing and swimming. When the girl was 11 years old her mother died.
At the age of 14 Kaiulani went to England to study. The girl was afraid to leave her home, but she had to learn the world around her. It was a long and difficult journey. She went to a private girls’ school in England.
For many years, other countries wanted to control the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii was a perfect place for ports and military bases. When Kaiulani left Hawaii, a group of American businessmen wanted her country to be under American control. Many of them were the sons of religious missionaries, who had gone to the islands in the 1800s to teach Hawaiians about Christianity. Over the years their families had become rich and powerful and controlled the government and all the important businesses.
When King Kalakaua died his sister, Liliuokalani, became queen. So, the Americans forced her to give up her power and established their own government.
Kaiulani wanted to help her people and decided to talk to the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland. She was only 17 years old when she went to the United States. Victoria made many speeches, because she wanted the American people to help Hawaii.
In 1897, Congress voted to annex Hawaii. The Hawaiians couldn’t do anything.
Kaiulani went home to be with her people. She tried to bring them peace and happiness, but it was impossible.
On March 6, 1899, Kaiulani died. She was only 23 years old and she never became queen of Hawaii.
In the fall of 2007, English filmmaker Marc Forby began production on a $9 million film titled Barbarian Princess based on the princess’ attempts to restore her nation’s independence.
Jennifer Fahrni founded the Kaiulani Project to celebrate the life, spirit and legacy of Princess Kaiulani.