The ‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace that is now a part of the United States. Located in downtown Honolulu, the cornerstone was laid on Decemeber 31, 1879 and was completed by August 1882. The ‘Iolani Palace was used by two monarchs – King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani.
When Queen Liliuokalani attempted to strengthen the monarchy by proposing a new constitution. Hawaiian residents of American and European descent felt threatened. They organized an overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. It was successful on January 17, 1893. Two years later, royalist tried to restore the queen back her power but were unsuccessful. Queen Liliuokalani was arrested, later convicted, of having knowledge of this plan. Fined $5,000 and sentenced to five years of hard labor, Queen Liliuokalani’s sentence was commuted to imprisonment in a bedroom upstairs in the ‘Iolani Palace.
The ‘Iolani Palace was used as the capitol building for the government (Provisional, Republic, Territory, and then the State of Hawaii) until 1969. It is now a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. The ‘Iolani Palace has been restored and is a museum.