The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabsh Cousins will present an Afternoon at Hulihe‘e at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember King Kamehameha IV. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and performing arts by kumu hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i.
Afternoon at Hulihe‘e is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawaii’s monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Bring a beach mat or chair, as seating won’t be provided.
King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho) was 21 when he inherited the throne in 1855. He agonized about the dwindling native population, reduced from 300,000 in 1778 to 70,000 in 1855.
“Hawaiians had no resistance to the diseases of foreigners and over 6,000 caught smallpox brought to the islands in 1853,” said Casey Ballao, docent coordinator. “The king and his queen, Emma, pushed for the building of a hospital so Hawaiians could get adequate medical care.”
Brought up by a physician, Emma shared her husband’s values on health. Liholiho married Emma Naea Rooke in 1856. She was the granddaughter of John Young, Kamehameha the Great’s British advisor.
As was the custom for children in Hawaii to be given to relatives for upbringing, Emma was the hanai daughter of Dr. T. C. Rooke, an English physician practicing in Honolulu, and Emma’s aunt.
“Besides providing funds, the royal couple earnestly solicited donations from others,” explained Ballao. “In 1860, Kamehameha IV laid the cornerstone for The Queen’s Hospital, which he named to honor his wife.”
Today, it is the prestigious Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu.
The king died when he was 29, a short time after, his 4-year-old Prince Albert became fatally ill. A crib used by the prince, during a visit to Kona, is on display at Hulihe‘e.
“Queen Emma became a candidate to the throne but lost a heavily contested election to Prince David Kalakaua,” said Ballao. “Queen Emma died at the age of 49.”
Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours.
Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with the exception that the palace is open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.
Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kamaaina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and younger. Docent-guided tours are available upon request.
For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, can be reached at 329-6558.
Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman directly descended from a person who lived in Hawaii prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins, in which membership is available to all.