Scattered throughout Honolulu and Waikiki are numerous statues of Hawaiian royalty, such as King Kamehameha the Great, Queen Liliuokalani and Prince Jonah Kuhio. These sculptures, all crafted by master artists, capture the likenesses and regality of their subjects perfectly, so if you’re at all interested in Hawaiian history, or just want to get a selfie with a royal figure, it’s worth making the trek to these statues.
King Kamehameha the Great
The first Hawaiian leader to unite all of the major Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha the Great stands tall (literally, the man is believed to have been over 7 feet tall) outside Aliiolani Hale, which is across the street from Iolani Palace. The figure is adorned with lei every Lei Day, and it’s a sight to see. There are several other statues of King Kamehameha, including one on the Big Island, one on Maui and one in Washington D.C. 447 S. King St., Honolulu.
King Kamehameha III
A recently revealed statue, the 12-foot sculpture of Hawaii’s third and longest reigning ruler, King Kamehameha III, was placed in Thomas Square on July 31, 2018, which also happens to be Hawaiian Sovereignty Day. Born Keaweaweula Kiwalao Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa, King Kamehameha III led Hawaii through a difficult period and is noted for keeping his nation intact while navigating troublesome international diplomatic waters. 925 S. Beretania St., Honolulu.
Located between the state Capitol and Iolani Palace stands a statue of Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s first queen regnant and last sovereign monarch. Adored by her people, the queen attempted to draft a new constitution that would restore power to the monarchy, however, pro-American agents backed by U.S. Marines overthrew the monarchy. After being placed on house arrest in Iolani Palace, Queen Liliuokalani lived out the remainder of her life as a private citizen. Between the state Capitol and Iolani Palace.
Sure, the Duke’s not technically royalty, however, his parent were prominent Hawaiians during their time and his paternal grandparents served as trusted advisers to the Kamehameha family. Either way, Duke Kahanamoku, who served as a sheriff, Olympic gold medalist and ambassador of aloha, now stands, arms outstretched and draped with lei, in front of Waikiki Beach, where he spent many of his days as a bronzed beach boy. 2424 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu.
Queen Emma, King Kamehameha IV and their son, Prince Albert
The International Market Place, reopened in 2016 after years of renovations, pays tribute to Queen Emma; her husband, King Kamehameha IV; and their son, Prince Albert, with statues of the three in the marketplace’s courtyard area. Queen Emma, known for her humanitarian efforts, established a public hospital, now known as The Queen’s Medical Center, along with her husband. Tragically, she lost her 4-year-old son, Prince Albert, to illness and her betrothed passed just one year later. 2330 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu.
Without a doubt, Queen Kapiolani cared deeply for her people. She established the Kapiolani Maternity Home, now the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, as well as the Kapiolani Home for Girls, where girls in the leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa could be educated. If you’d like to pay respect to Queen Kapiolani, who gave so much for Native Hawaiians, her statue is at Kapiolani Park. 2686 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole
A prince of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Prince Jonah Kuhio represented the Territory of Hawaii as a delegate to the U.S. Congress. His statue is not far from Duke Kahanamoku’s, closer to the Honolulu Zoo. On March 26, the state of Hawaii celebrates Prince Kuhio Day, one of two holidays in the U.S. dedicated to royalty—the other being King Kamehameha Day. 2537 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu.