On January 29, 1891, Lili'uokalani was proclaimed queen of Hawai'i, the first regnant queen and the last monarch of Hawai'i. [Should you ever be asked the Trivial Pursuit question of which US state has a royal palace…now you know, if you didn’t already.] Her reign was short and fraught with skirmishes as the vultures swooped in at that fragile moment in Pacific history and, correspondingly, the disenfranchisement of nearly everybody in the Kingdom except American and European businessmen (disenfranchisement not enacted by the Queen–she tried to give voting rights to Native Hawaiians and Asian immigrants…something the above-mentioned American and European businessmen were disinclined to support). Less than two years after becoming queen, the sugar barons started the coup that would depose her, calling in American troops to help protect “American citizens” (ahem–perhaps, let us gently suggest perhaps, also to protect their own interests), which, as one would imagine, shortly thereafter led to annexation. And so it goes. Queen Lili'uokalani composed a goodly number of songs and continued to protest the annexation of Hawai'i until her death in 1917. Before she died, she stipulated in her will that her belongings should be sold and the proceeds used to set up a trust for the orphaned and destitute children of Hawai'i. The trust is still in existence today. I haven’t heard of a sugar baron trust to protect the orphans of Hawai'i (or very many other places), but then, I don’t know much about running a colonial exploitation business. I do reckon it’s probably about time to have Queen Lili'uokalani on a US stamp, though.
Stamp details: Stamp on top: Issued on: August 29,1959 From: Honolulu, HI SC #C55
Stamp on bottom: Issued on: March 12, 1984 From: Honolulu, HI Designed by: Herb Kane SC #2080
“Before ascending the throne, for fourteen years, or since the date of my proclamation as heir apparent, my official title had been simply Liliuokalani. Thus I was proclaimed both Princess Royal and Queen.”