20 facts Queen Lili’uokalani

1. She tried to found a women’s bank.

2. She tried to come up with a microlending program for women.

3. She believed in the right to vote for everyone, including women.

4. At her death, all her lands and personal belongings were sold to found a trust for orphans and indigent kids.

5. As Queen, she used the Throne Room to provide lectures to women about history, law, and science by other women.

6. When pastors tried to ban Buddhist priests, she lobbied against them. When the Buddhist priests held a celebration on Buddha’s birthday, she attended to show her support.

7. She was refused service in 4 NYC hotels for being “colored”.

8. The Queen was fluent in Hawaiian and English, but also tutored in German.

9. She was a fan and patron of Peeking Opera in Honolulu.

10. She sued the U.S. for her Crown Lands but lost the case.

11. She was the first Hawaiian woman to write a book: Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen.

12. She composed over 120 songs including “Aloha ʻOe”, “The Queen’s Prayer”, and the former national anthem, “He Mele Lāhui”.

13. She met most of Europe’s rulers during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.

14. She was imprisoned in her own palace and guards had to call her by a number. 

15. She experienced antiBlackness and racism firsthand with King Leopold II of Belgium (yes, the butcher of the Congo) and while in the U.S.

16. She intervened in a domestic violence case by helping the woman flee to another city.

17. She and her sister-in-law, Queen Kapiʻolani, sent funds to homesick and stranded Hawaiians in Utah and other places in the U.S. to come home.

18. She was a staunch supporter of St. Damien of Molokaʻi, which led her to conflicts with her own church at the time.

19. She had adopted kids.

20. She was an accomplished pianist, organist but also served as a choir director.

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