Princess Elizabeth Kahanu Kalanianiole
March 8, 1879 - February 20, 1932


Princess Elizabeth Kahanu was the wife of Prince Jonah Kalanianaole and Hawaii's second delegate to Congress. Her maiden name was Kaauwai and Kalanianaole was the surname of her husband. She, like her sister-in-law Abigail Campbell Kawananakoa, was a Hawaiian princess by marriage to a Hawaiian Prince. Their husbands were granted the title in 1883 and style "Highness", their wives shared their title even though their marriages were after the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

She was born in Makawao, Maui on March 8, 1879, and during her childhood was a protegee of her cousin, Queen Kapiolani. Kalanianaole's father was a chief of the island of Maui named Kaleiwohi Kaauwai, High Chief of Maui, and his wife (Elizabeth's mother) was Muolo Keawe-heulu Laanui. Her family descends from the Royalty of Maui. High Chief Hoapili Kaauwai and his wife High Chiefess Kiliwehi, who accompanied Queen Emma on her visit to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom in the 1860s, were her aunt and uncle. She was educated at Sacred Hearts Academy.

Elizabeth met Kuhio in 1895 after his participation in the failed Wilcox Rebellion had brought him into jail for almost a year. Kahanu brought him food, and sang his favourite songs to break his isolation. Just after he was released she married Prince Kuhio on October 8, 1896. Their wedding was held in the Saint Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu, Oahu. She and her husband decided that they would leave Hawaii for a while since the monarchy was over and hopes of restoration were dim. For two years she and Kuhio traveled in Europe and South Africa as wealthy "nobility" and were usually recognized as royals even though the Kingdom had been overthrown. However, once a German count in Geneva, Switzerland, referred loudly to their dark skin color. Her husband used his boxing skill to knock the man out. As time passed her husband lost his feeling of bitterness and wanted to be back in the middle of the action in the Territory of Hawaii. They arrived home in September 1901 and settled at Pualeilani, the Waikiki home they had inherited from Kuhio's aunt, Queen Kapiolani.
In 1917, Kuhio's aunt, Queen Liliuokalani died at her home in Washington Place. If the Hawaiian kingdom had not been overthrown, her husband would have succeed as king and she would have been queen consort of Hawaii. On January 7, 1922, her husband died and was intered in the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii. She converted the tomb into a chapel. She was appointed to fill her husband's place as a member of the Hawaiian Home Commission. She remarried James Frank Woods in 1923. She passed away at Queen's Hospital on February 20, 1932. She had been President of the Native Sons & Daughters of Hawaii, Honourable President of the Kaahumanu Society, Regent of Hui Kalama, and Moi of the Daughters & Sons of Hawaiian Warriors.

Mahalo Nui Loa to Bishop Museum for the digital photos