Lunalilo and His Mausoleum

Who Was The King?

When Kamehameha V died without naming an heir to his kingdom the Hawaiian Constitution required that the next ruler would be chosen by a vote of legislators. Charles Lunalilo, son of Kanaina, was considered to be the highest born Alii of his generation, and was highly regarded by the people of Hawaii; he won the vote to become King with ease. After a losing fight with illness just about a year after being elected King, Lunalilo passed, and left no heirs. Before he left his earthly body he asked his father to bury him not with the other Royals, but among his people. According to Hawaii History.org there was some tension between Lunalilo and the Kamehameha’s over the disposition of his mother’s remains. King Lunalilo was not buried with the rest of the Hawaiian Royals in the Mausoleum on Nuuanu per his wishes. A Mausoleum was constructed on the grounds of Kawaiahao church to house the King’s body.Lunalilo Mausoleum - Discover Hawaii News

His Mausoleum; to be among the people

Built in 1875 near what is now Downtown Honolulu, the original Mausoleum was constructed to hold the remains of King Lunalilo following his dieing wish to his father not be buried with the rest of the Royals in the Mausoleum on Nuuanu. As you enter the Kawaiahao church the Mausoleum dedicated to King Lunalilo is located on the right side of the grounds. The Mausoleum has gone through some major renovations and was unveiled and blessed recently during a ceremony to celebrate the rejuvenation of such a beautiful structure. KHON interviewed some of those involved in overlooking the rejuvenation, Kamani Kauluaa of the King Lunalilo Trust said of the renovations “It just feels very good to know that birds aren’t sneaking in there anymore, and the Kahili are repaired, and that the structure will last for many, many years, to come.”

Written By: