Palace is the only royal residence located in the United States.
It was the official residence of King Kalakaua
and Queen Kapi`olani from the time of its completion in 1882 until his
death in 1891. His successor, Queen
Lili`uokalani, lived in the Palace until the overthrow of the
Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893.
The site was first used as a palace in 1845
when King Kamehameha III moved the capitol from Lahaina, Maui to
Honolulu. The location may have been chosen because it was the
site of an ancient temple. The original name was Hale Ali`i,
and was changed to `Iolani Palace following the death of Kamehameha IV
in 1863. `Iolani was one of the king's names and means royal hawk
-- the high flight of the hawk signified royalty. The first palace
was torn down in the 1870s because of extensive termite
The cornerstone for the current palace was laid on the last day of
1879 and was completed in 1882 at a cost of nearly $360,000. In
1979, the U.S. Postal Service issued a ten cent postal card featuring a
stamp with a photo of the palace, commemorating the 100th anniversary.
The palace was used as the seat of government by the Republic of
Hawai`i, the Territory of Hawai`i and the first ten years of
statehood. Following completion of the Hawai`i State Capitol in
1969, the palace was renovated and restored.
History from the Friends of `Iolani Palace
Names of Hawaii by Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert and
Esther T. Mookini
postal card issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 1979
Return to Island of O`ahu
| History of Hawaii: Monarchy
of `Iolani Palace
Back of Palace
Front of Palace
coat of arms for the Kingdom of Hawai`i, which was used in the design of
the state seal and state coat of arms, appears on
the gates to the palace grounds.
From the Palace
toward King St.