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Queen Emma Summer Palace: Another historical star in Honolulu Hawaii

Updated on October 5, 2010
An outside view of Queen Emma Summer Palace
An outside view of Queen Emma Summer Palace | Source
An inside view of Queen Emma Summer Palace
An inside view of Queen Emma Summer Palace | Source
Picture of Queen Emma. Notice her Victorian dress. It demonstrates the British influences on the Hawaiian Monarchy
Picture of Queen Emma. Notice her Victorian dress. It demonstrates the British influences on the Hawaiian Monarchy | Source
These ladies are wonderful and informative to talk with. They spend time with you to explain Queen Emma and her Summer Palace.
These ladies are wonderful and informative to talk with. They spend time with you to explain Queen Emma and her Summer Palace. | Source

Queen Emma Summer Palace is another historical treasure of Hawaii and a must see when you are in Honolulu. Queen Emma Summer Palace was Queen Emma and her family’s summer retreat nestled in the beautiful Nuuanu Valley in Oahu, Hawaii. When we were there, we received a detailed history of Queen Emma Summer Palace from the host who was a member of the Daughters of Hawaii. We really appreciated the time she took with us to explain the history of Queen Emma Summer Palace and its notable treasures and heirlooms. You should know Queen Emma Palace is quite small and has a Western flavour. However, the numerous heirlooms reinforce the fact that Hawaiian Royalty allied quite closely to the British Empire. If you go there, be sure to ask about Prince Albert’s fireman shirt they found underneath Queen Emma Summer Palace. The story behind this fire shirt is fascinating.

The surrounding grounds are peaceful and beautiful. One can spend an entire afternoon on the grounds enjoying a picnic lunch and admiring the scenery. We brought sandwiches and literally spent two hours on the grounds admiring the scenery, the birds chirping and the flowers.

Who are the Daughters of Hawaii?

The Daughters of Hawaii is a non-profit organization founded in 1903 by daughters of the Protestant Missionaries. Their mission was and is to preserve Hawaii’s rich historical Royal heritage and the Hawaiian language. The Daughters of Hawaii also maintain the Hulihe`e Palace located in Kona which we did not see this trip. However, if we ever go to the Big Island of Hawaii, it will be on the top of our list.

A brief background on Queen Emma

Queen Emma was the wife of Kamehameha IV and was born to Hawaiian chieftains. During her reign, she was influential in establishing and supporting a public hospital to improve the health care of Native Hawaiians. This was quite revolutionary in its day as it was one of the first initiatives towards establishing a Public Health Care system. The Queen Emma Land Company continues to receive lease revenue on its prized Waikiki land holdings. This land lease revenue continues to financially support the Queen’s hospital.

Queen Emma and Kamehameha IV had one son, Prince Albert. Sadly, Prince Albert passed away at quite a young age leaving the throne with no direct heir. Kamehameha IV passed away 15 months after Prince Albert’s passing. Some say, Kamehameha IV died of a broken heart from losing his only son.

A brief history of Queen Emma Summer Palace

Queen Emma Summer Palace was built in 1847. According to the host, the home was a prefabrication built in Boston. As Queen Emma Summer Palace is in the Pali Hills just North of Honolulu, one has to wonder how they brought the prefabricated sections of the home up the hill back in those days. Were the sections of the home brought up the hill using human or horse and/or oxen power? According to the host at Queen Emma Summer Palace, the home was stated to be demolished in the early 1900’s to make way for a housing development. The Daughters of Hawaii were successful in buying the home and grounds just prior to Queen Emma Summer Palace being gone forever.

Where is Queen Emma Summer Palace located and what are their Hours of Operation?

Queen Emma Summer Palace is located at 2913 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii. Getting there is very easy by bus from Waikiki. To get bus details, go to Adult Bus fare is only $2.50 one way.

Queen Emma Summer Palace is open 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 4 pm.

A marker2913 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii -
2913 Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
get directions

Other Hubs describing the richness of Hawaii’s history

Chuck is one of my favourite hubbers as he always puts together a rich mosaic of interesting facts on any majestic buildings he covers. One of his hubs entitled, “Beach Cottage of Hawaii’s King David Kalākaua” is definitely a must read. King David Kalakaua’s cottage is very similar in style and flavour as Queen Emma Summer Palace. Again, you will notice the British Influences in the King’s cottage.

I recently wrote an article on The Royal Mausoleum at Mauna 'Ala. The Royal Mausoleum is the final resting place for most of the Kamehameha and Kalakauna families and close friends. If you are lucky like we were, you may have the privilege to go into the Royal Chapel located on the Mausoleum Grounds. To many Hawaiians, these grounds are sacred. Also, it is the only site where the Hawaiian flag can fly unaccompanied by the United States Stars and Stripes flag.

In my opinion, a trip to Hawaii is just not complete if you don’t explore its rich past. From my experiences, the people of Hawaii are very friendly and take the time to share their past. I must say the wonderful people I met at all these historical sites were enriching and rewarding. If I would have planted myself on Waikiki beach, I would never have had the privilege to meet these wonderful folks and have them tell their story. People don’t want to see a pathetic, middle aged man lying like a beached whale on Waikiki anyway.


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