Bernice Pauahi Bishop


About Bernice Pauahi Bishop


As a great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I and last heir to the Kamehameha Dynasty, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop is one of the most important women in the Kingdom of Hawaii’s history.

Passionate about her people, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop wanted to ensure the perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture and people. In her will, she expressed desire for the creation of Kamehameha Schools. The schools were formed out of the estate she inherited and made her the largest private landowner in Hawaii. These lands are now part of the Bishop Estate and continue to help the people of Hawaii.


Princess Bernice Pauahi Paki was born in Honolulu in 1831. Growing up she attended the prestigious Royal School through her teenage years. Born into Hawaiian royalty, her marriage was arranged as a child to Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, but she followed her heart and married Hawaii businessman and philanthropist Charles Bishop instead.

Prince Lot Kapuaiwa went on to rule Hawaii as King Kamehameha V and offered Princess Bishop the throne upon his deathbed. The princess did not want the throne as her interests were more oriented in philanthropy than civil service. Her legacy is celebrated today through Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Famous People
  • Fun Fact: The princess was fond of horseback riding, music, the arts, and Victorian-era fashion.