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Hulihe‘e Palace Concert Remembers King Who Founded Queen’s Medical Center

Media Release:

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present a free outdoor concert 4 p.m. Sunday, May 15 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember the late 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.

Hulihe‘e Palace

The concert is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly 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 over the dwindling native population that was 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,” says Fanny Au Hoy, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “The king and his Queen Emma pushed for the building of a hospital so Hawaiians could get adequate medical care.”

Hulihe‘e Palace

Liholiho married Emma Naea Rooke in 1856. She was the granddaughter of John Young, Kamehameha’s British advisor and great-granddaughter of Kamehameha’s brother, Keli‘imaika‘i. As was the custom for children in Hawai‘i to be given to relatives for upbringing, Emma was the hanai  (adopted) daughter of Dr. T. C. Rooke, an English physician practicing in Honolulu, and Emma’s Aunt Grace. Brought up by a physician, Emma shared her husband’s values on health.

“Besides providing personal funds, the royal couple earnestly solicited donations from others,” explains Au Hoy. “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.

Liholiho and his young family visited Hulihe‘e Palace several times, favoring the seaside royal residence for off-island vacations from Honolulu’s busy pace. They also spent time on Kaua‘i  near Hanalei and the area was named Princeville after the couple’s son, Prince Albert.

Hulihe‘e Palace

The king died when he was 29, a short time after Prince Albert became fatally ill. “Queen Emma became a candidate to the throne in 1874 but lost a heavily contested election to Prince David Kalakaua,” says Au Hoy. Queen Emma died at the age of 49 in 1885.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours.

Due to damage from the March tsunami, the gift shop remains closed for repairs and donations are greatly appreciated. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

 2011 Hulihe‘e Palace Concert Schedule: 4 p.m. on the palace grounds

  • Jan 16: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha II “Lunalilo” and Aunty I’olani Luahine
  • Feb 20: Band Concert remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 20: Hula Concert remembering Queen Ka’ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 17: Hula Concert remembering Prince Albert
  • May 15: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 12: Band Concert remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 17: Hula Concert remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 14: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 18: Band Concert remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 16: Hula Concert remembering Princess Kai‘ulani
  • Nov 20: Band Concert remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 18: Hula Concert remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop