Did you know America has a royal palace even though it doesn’t have a royal ruling class? I thought so. Well, don't feel bad. Neither did I. Read on, dear plebe, that is, if you dare.
I know exactly what you are thinking! America doesn’t have a royal palace because America doesn’t have any royalty. Am I right? Well, for your information, there is an American palace that not only exists but is also open to the public for tours. Well, where is it, you may ask with hands on hips, defying me to tell you.
The answer lies in Hawaii our fifty-first state. It was the royal home of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani until the overthrow of their monarchy in 1893. They were forced to vacate the beautiful palace that had been so lovingly built for them in 1882. Stripped of all its lavish artifacts, the building became a seat of state and remained so until Hawaii gained statehood in 1959 and a new capitol building was erected.
After some ten years or so of Americanization, a native pride and sense of historical tradition began to develop among the population and a new organization was formed whose purpose was the restoration of “dying Hawaiian arts” such as hula dancing, canoe paddling and the native language. This group also sought the restoration of the royal palace and recovery of all its wondrous treasures and artifacts.
Today the palace stands like a proud peacock, a tribute to an era long faded into time. The first floor contains a dining room and Throne room. A beautiful hand-carved staircase leads up to the sumptuous living quarters of the royal family on the second floor. The original cost of the palace was $360,000 and the former king of Hawaii was a man of vision. He had electricity installed four years before the American White House had it and he also had indoor flushing toilets and telephones, which were unheard of at the time.
Visitors can walk through this magnificent palace and gaze at the exquisitely decorated rooms that feature 7,000 feet of koa wood.
So we do have a palace after all. Isn’t that surprising?