This historic Honolulu landmark, and only official state residence of royalty in the United States, was once the home of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s final remaining monarchs, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani.
Completed in 1882, Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian royals from 1882 until the monarchy was overthrown in 1893. The palace’s design draws on European architectural influences and includes contextual modern conveniences such as the Hawaiian Islands first electric light system, telephones and flush toilets.
Unfortunately, just over 10 years after the palace was completed, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and five years later its kingdom annexed as a United States Territory. From this point, and up to 1968, the Iolani Palce was used as the capitol building. In 1959, Hawaii was officially recognised at the 50th state of the United States of America.
Today the former royal residence can be toured by the public. Take a guided walk through the American Florentine-style reception, dining and throne rooms. Decorated and furnished as it was, visitors can clearly visualize how life would have been experienced here. Tours take guests through the royal family's private living quarters and up into the room where Queen Liliuokalani was imprisoned for years following the 1893 overthrow.
Guests can gaze over the ancient royal Hawaiian regalia, including prized jewellery, swords and golden crowns as they walk through the basement foyer. Head out to the grounds beyond and stand in the Coronation Pavilian where Kind Kalakaua was crowned in 1883.
Depending on your time of visit, it’s worth checking the Iolani Palace events calendar for the concerts, festivals, classes and lectures that take place on the palace grounds. Couples can also elect to hire out one of the royal venues for weddings and engagements.