Details announced for public memorial service for Princess Abigail Kawānanakoa
The Kawānanakoa Family announced details of the public memorial service at ‘Iolani Palace for HRH Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa. The Princess will lie in state in the Throne Room on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
At 1:30 p.m., the Princess’ koa casket will arrive at ‘Iolani Palace via hearse through the front gate. A small procession will accompany the Princess with traditional Hawaiian protocol up the driveway. A law enforcement honor guard will carry the casket up the front stairs into the Throne Room, where members of the family and the Hawaiian Royal Societies will keep vigil during Princess Abigail’s lying-in-state.
The pedestrian gate on King Street will open at 2 p.m. for members of the public to pay their respects; this will be the only entrance available to line up and enter.
The family requests mourners respect the dignity of this event and behave appropriately. Lines will be kept moving to ensure everyone has the opportunity to their respects to Princess Abigail. Accommodations will be made for foreign dignitaries, the Hawaiian Civic Clubs in groups, and any visitor for whom there is a security concern.
Ho‘okupu (gifts) of lei and flowers are welcome outside of the Palace and will be taken to Mauna ‘Ala. A request has been made for no gifts of food or liquor. A performance area fronting the Palace will also be available for those wishing to present a gift of mele or hula to the Princess. Guests will also be able to leave a personal message in memorial books before entering the Palace. Memorial contributions can also be made to The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace in honor of Princess Abigail’s leadership and support at iolanipalace.org/princessabigail
Footwear is required to enter the Palace. To make participation easier, shoe coverings will not be used and guests will walk on a carpet that will be temporarily installed solely for the occasion. The public is also asked to dress appropriately, as individuals wearing clothing with political or offensive language or slogans will not be allowed inside. Flash photography, video, large bags, and backpacks are prohibited inside ‘Iolani Palace. Cigarettes and vape pens are also not allowed inside of ‘Iolani Palace or on the grounds . No picnicking will be allowed on the Palace grounds.
The Palace grounds will be closed to vehicular traffic and not be available for public parking. Nearby parking is available at the Civic Center Municipal Building.
‘Iolani Palace Lying-in-State History
Princess Abigail will be the 12th person to lie in state in the Throne Room of ‘Iolani Palace; Princess Likelike was the first after her passing in 1887. Other royals included King David Kalākaua (1891), Prince David Kawānanakoa (1908), Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (1922), and Albert Kūnuiākea (1903), son of King Kamehameha III. While Queen Lili‘uokalani did not lie in state at the Palace, her private funeral service was held in the Throne Room in 1917; her husband, John O. Dominis, did lie in state in the Throne Room after his death in 1891. The funeral for Prince Edward Keliʻiahonui was also held in the Throne Room after his passing in 1887.
Other government officials to have lain in state at the Palace include Minister Plenipotentiary to Hawai‘i Albert Willis (1897), Republic of Hawaiʻi Minister James Anderson King (1899), Republic of Hawai‘i President Sanford B. Dole (1926), Governor Wallace Rider Farrington (1954), and Governor Oren E. Long (1965).
Princess Abigailʻs Support of The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace
Throughout her life, Princess Abigail was a personal supporter of the preservation of Native Hawaiian language, culture, and arts. Prominent among her support was the monumental restoration and preservation of ‘Iolani Palace to its former grandeur envisioned by her great-granduncle King Kalākaua during his travels abroad.
Governor John A. Burns entrusted this restoration to her mother, Lydia Liliu‘okalani Kawānanakoa Morris, and upon her passing in 1969, Princess Abigail carried on the legacy of her mother to successfully oversee its transformation.
Princess Abigail served as President of the Friends for nearly 30 years. Her generosity over the years—from the gifts of family objects to the support of events at the Palace to direct financial support, including paying the Palace’s electricity bills for many years—made her by far the largest single benefactor of the Palace.
About Princess Abigail’s Casket
Princess Abigail’s casket was handcrafted by Martin & MacArthur. The casket is made from a single 165-year-old Koa tree that fell during a winter storm in 2021 on Hawai‘i Island. Originally located in the Pu‘u Ō‘ō area between Mauna Loa and the Waiākea forest reserve, the tree served as nesting and protection for indigenous nene birds for generations, offering shelter from the buffeting storms that often swept across the area.
Built to approved specifications, the curly Koa wood casket features three Koa emblems on top: the Hawaiʻi Crown, the Hawaiʻi Coat of Arms, and the Kawānanakoa Family crest.
Princess Abigail passed away on Dec. 11, 2022 at the age of 96. She was a distinguished member of the Royal Family of Hawai‘i – The Royal House of Kawānanakoa – which had very close family ties to Hawai‘i’s last two reigning monarchs, Their Majesties King Kalākaua and Queen Liliu‘okulani. Princess Abigail is survived by her wife, Veronica Gail Kawānanakoa, in addition to Marchesa Marignoli Esther Nāpelakapuokaka‘e Kapi‘olani Kawānanakoa, David Klaren Kaumuali‘i Kawānanakoa, Quentin Kūhiō Kawānanakoa and Andrew Pi‘ikoi Kawānanakoa.