After King Kalakaua passed away in 1891, his sister and heir Lili’uokalani became the last sovereign ruler of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Aside from Lili‘uokalani’s role as a devoted monarch, she was also a faithful scholar and an extraordinary musician and composer. She was well versed in hymns and ballads of American and European influence, as well as traditional Hawaiian chant and prose. In her lifetime, Queen Lili‘uokalani composed more than 150 songs, including her most famous piece, “Aloha ‘Oe.” In 1893, a group of European and American citizens and native-born subjects of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i staged a coup d’état. Backed by the U.S. government and with the aid of the U.S. military they were successful and the Queen was forced to yield her authority. In 1895, Queen Lili’uokalani, was arrested and tried for aiding in a short-lived attempt to restore the monarchy. She was found guilty, fined $5,000 dollars, and sentenced to five years hard labor. The sentence was commuted and she was placed under house arrest at ‘Iolani Palace. Hawai‘i lost its last ruling monarch on November 11, 1917, when Lili‘uokalani died of a stroke at the age of 79 at her Washington Place home.

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