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Princess Kalani Ahumanu i Kaliko o Iwi Kauhipua o Kīnaʻu, also known as Elizabeth Kīnaʻu (c. 1805 – April 4, 1839) was Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi as Kaʻahumanu II,[3]:436 Queen regent and Dowager Queen.

Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiʻian Islands
Barthélémy Lauvergne - 'Princess Kinau', watercolor and ink wash over graphite, 1836, Honolulu Academy of Arts.jpg
Queen Consort of Hawaiʻi
Regent of Hawaiʻi
TenureJune 5, 1832 – March 15, 1833
SuccessorKaʻahumanu III
Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiʻian Islands
TenureJune 5, 1832 – April 4, 1839
SuccessorKaʻahumanu III
Bornc. 1805
Waikiki, Oʻahu
Died(1839-04-04)April 4, 1839 (aged 33–34)
Honolulu, Oʻahu
BurialJune 7, 1839[1]:22
October 30, 1865[2]
SpouseKamehameha II
Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu
Mataio Kekūanāoʻa
IssueDavid Kamehameha
Moses Kekūāiwa
Lot Kapuāiwa, King Kamehameha V
Alexander Liholiho, King Kamehameha IV
Victoria Kamāmalu Kaʻahumanu IV
Full name
Kalani Ahumanu i Kaliko o Iwi Kauhipua o Kīnaʻu, Elizabeth Kīnaʻu Kaʻahumanu II
FatherKamehameha I
Kaweloʻokalani (hānai)
MotherKalākua Kaheiheimālie
Peleuli (hānai)


Her father was King Kamehameha I and her mother was Kalākua Kaheiheimālie. She was born probably in 1805 on the island of Oʻahu at Waikiki. She was given in hānai to her stepmother Peleuli and her second husband Kawelookalani, her father's half-brother. Peleuli named her Kīnaʻu after her son Kahōʻanokū Kīnaʻu (her half-brother) and took her back to the island of Hawaiʻi after Kamehameha moved his capital back to Kailua-Kona.[4]

Kīnaʻu was first married to her half-brother Liholiho (1797–1824) who ascended in 1819 as King Kamehameha II. In 1824, quite young, she became Dowager Queen when Kamehameha II died in London together with his favorite wife (her sister) Queen Kamāmalu.

Her second husband was Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu, a grandson of Kamehameha I. She had two children, one who was adopted by another high-ranking chiefly family[5][6] and the other a son who perished along with his father in the whooping cough epidemic of 1826.[7]:221[8]:31[9] Her third husband was Mataio Kekūanāoʻa (1791–1868), from 1827. Queen Kaʻahumanu was furious over their union because of his inferior rank and her wish that she married Kamehameha III in accordance with their father's wish that his children by Keōpūolani would continue his line with his children by Kaheiheimālie.[10][11] Kekūanāoʻa was governor of Oʻahu (1834–1868).[12] To him she bore four sons: David Kamehameha (1828–1835), Moses Kekūāiwa (1829–1848), Lot Kapuāiwa (1830–1873), and Alexander Liholiho (1830–1873), and one daughter Victoria Kamāmalu (1838–1866).[13][14]

She became the Kuhina Nui (an office somewhat like prime minister or co-regent) styled as Kaʻahumanu II June 5, 1832, when Queen Kaʻahumanu died. She acted as the regent for her brother Kauikeaouli when he became King Kamehameha III, from June 5, 1832, to March 15, 1833. She ruled with him until her death. She was responsible for enforcing Hawaiʻi's first penal code, proclaimed by the king in 1835. She adopted Protestant Christianity like many of the chiefs and chiefesses. She persecuted many of the Catholic missionaries and tried to expel the French Jesuit priests, which would later lead into diplomatic troubles with France.

During the early years of Kamehameha III, he was seen to be indifferent to his duties as king and spend his time pursuing leisure instead of ruling, according to the missionaries. She felt she had to take full duty of a monarch, but soon became disheartened and at length came to Mrs. Judd, the wife of Gerrit P. Judd, and said: "I am in sore straits and heavy hearted, and I have come to tell you my thought. I am quite discouraged and cannot bear this burden any longer. I wish to throw away my rank and title and responsibility together, bring my family here, and live with you; or, we will take our families and go away together." Mrs. Judd referred her to the story of Esther, and pointed out to her that she must be strong and accept the responsibility of Regent of the nation for the sake of her people.[15]:18

Kīnaʻu and Kamehameha III argued over government policies. Kīnaʻu favored the policies recommended by the missionaries and was not as tolerant of other religions as her predecessor, Kaʻahumanu. She strengthened the land tenure of the Crown Lands by written and official proclamation. Kamehameha III resented the lessened power of the king who no longer had sole power to give and take land at will. He wanted the old ways for his people. Eventually they resolved their differences and formed a new government. Now there was a King, a Kuhina Nui, and a Counsel of Chiefs.

Her two sons from her third husband who had survived to adulthood ascended as kings of Hawaiʻi: the younger Alexander Liholiho as Kamehameha IV and then Lot Kapuāiwa as Kamehameha V. Her only daughter Victoria Kamāmalu became Kuhina Nui as Kaʻahumanu IV.

Her widower Mataio Kekūanāoʻa became Kuhina Nui from 1863 until August 24, 1864, the last holder of that position when it was dissolved by the 1864 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

Kaʻahumanu II died of the mumps at Honolulu, Oʻahu on April 4, 1839.[16] Her funeral was held on July 7 at Kawaiahaʻo Church and she was buried in the Pohukaina Mausoleum on the grounds of ʻIolani Palace.[1]:22 British Admiral Edward Belcher attended and described her funeral in detail.[17] Her remains were later transported along with those of other royals in a midnight torchlight procession on October 30, 1865, to the newly constructed Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum up in the Nuʻuanu Valley.[2][18][19]

Family treeEdit


  1. ^ a b Amos Starr Cooke, Juliette Montague Cooke (1970) [1937]. Mary Atherton Richards (ed.). The Hawaiian Chiefs' Children's School. C. E. Tuttle Company.
  2. ^ a b "Royal Mausoleum". The Hawaiian Gazette. March 10, 1899. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  3. ^ Hiram Bingham I (1855) [1848]. A Residence of Twenty-one Years in the Sandwich Islands (Third ed.). H.D. Goodwin.
  4. ^ Kamakau 1992, p. 346.
  5. ^ Kamakau, Samuel (April 13, 1867). "Ka Moolelo o Kamehameha I". Ka Nupepa Kuakoa. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  6. ^ Ke Kumu Hawaiʻi newspaper. Buke 3, Pepa 6, Aoao 21. Augate 16, 1837. (August 16, 1837): p. 21
  7. ^ Barbara Bennett Peterson (1984). Notable Women of Hawaiʻi. University of Hawaiʻi Press. p. 221. ISBN 0-8248-0820-7.
  8. ^ Elizabeth Kekaaniauokalani Kalaninuiohilaukapu Pratt (2009) [1920]. Daniel Logan (ed.). History of Keoua Kalanikupuapa-i-nui: father of Hawaiʻi kings, and his descendants. Honolulu: republished by Kessinger Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-104-76661-0.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Kamakau, pp. 279–280.
  11. ^ Katharine Luomala, University of Hawaii (1987). "Reality and Fantasy: The Foster Child in Hawaiian Myths and Customs". Pacific Studies. Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus. pp. 1–45. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Kīnaʻu". Centennial Exhibit. State of Hawaiʻi Department of Accounting and General Services. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  13. ^ Kamakau 1992, p. 347.
  14. ^ Rosalin Uphus Comeau (1996). Kamehameha V: Lot Kapuāiwa. Kamehameha Schools Press. ISBN 0-87336-039-7.
  15. ^ Mary Hannah Krout (1908). The Memoirs of Hon. Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The Knickerbocker Press.
  16. ^ Kamakau 1992, p. 348.
  17. ^ Belcher 1843, pp. 260–263.
  18. ^ Alexander, William DeWitt (1894). "The "Hale o Keawe" at Honaunau, Hawaii". Journal of the Polynesian Society. London: E. A. Petherick. 3: 159–161.
  19. ^ Samuel P. King, Randall W. Roth (2006). Broken Trust. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-8248-3014-8.


Royal titles
Preceded by
Queen Kaʻahumanu
Queen Regent of Hawaiʻi
June 5, 1832 – March 17, 1833
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Queen Kaʻahumanu
Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiʻian Islands
June 5, 1832 – April 4, 1839
Succeeded by
Kaʻahumanu III