Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The King and Queen of the Sandwich Islands in England

From Shannon Selin:
The Sandwich Islands was the name given to the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook in 1778. King Kamehameha II, also known as Liholiho, inherited the throne of the Sandwich Islands in 1819, when he was 22 years old. Three years later, Britain’s King George IV sent a schooner called Prince Regent to Kamehameha II as a gift.

Kamehameha, who was looking for ways to modernize his kingdom, wrote a thank you letter in which he expressed his desire to place the Sandwich Islands under the protection of the British crown. He requested George IV’s counsel and advice. When a year passed with no reply, Kamehameha decided to sail to England to consult the British monarch in person. He commissioned a British whaling ship, L’Aigle, under Captain Valentine Starbuck, to make the voyage.

Accompanied by Queen Kamamalu (his half-sister and the favourite of his five wives) and a suite of eight persons, King Kamehameha left the Sandwich Islands on November 27, 1823. After a lengthy stop at Rio de Janeiro, the royal party landed at Portsmouth, England on May 17, 1824. (Read more.)

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