|Princess Victoria Kamamalu Ka’ahumanu, 1838-1866, was the sister of King Kamehameha IV, who reigned in Hawai’i from 1854 to 1863. She was the granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great, who founded the kingdom by uniting Hawai’i, and she was presumptive heir to the throne when she died. When her brother the king died in 1863, she was serving the kingdom as Premier (Kuhina Nui), as she had since 1855, and in this role, she had the power to appoint his successor. She named another brother, Lot Kapuaiwa, as king (Kamehameha V), but she herself had in fact been queen regent for the one day (Nov. 30) during which she made this appointment. In this photograph, taken around 1855, she would have been about 17 years old, and probably already serving as Premier. |
Mark Twain wrote about the death of Princess Kamamalu, and his obituary can be read on-line here.