Legacy of Princess Pauahi

Photo of Princess Pauahi, a Hawaiian woman dressed in mid 19th century European style dress

The lands upon which Royal Hawaiian Center sits are part of the vast estate of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, great-granddaughtre of King Kamehameha I. Born on December 19, 1831 to noble parents Laura Kanaholo Konia and Abner Kuho‘oheiheipahu Paki, Pauahi was reared with strong Hawaiian values and bicultural education. She was an excellent student, gifted in music, and known for her generosity and kindness.

At 19, Pauahi married a young American businessman who had made his way to the Kingdom of Hawai‘i from Glens Falls, New York. Charles Reed Bishop would become a pillar in the kingdom government, and was a succesful businessman, banker and philanthropist. Mr. Bishop and Princess Pauahi enjoyed traveling the world with particular fondness for museums and art. With no children of their own, they shared a deep commitment for the well-being and education of kamali‘i – young ones.

In 1884, Princess Bernice Pauahi and her husband, Charles Reed Bishop, retired to their home at Helumoa in Waikiki as Pauahi was faced with terminal illness. . Knowing her days were few, Princess Pauahi penned the codicil of her will establishing her lasting legacy, Kamehameha Schools, for the education of Native Hawaiians.

Named for her great-grandfather who unified the islands under single rule, Kamehameha Schools continues its mission of providing for the education of Native Hawaiians with K-12 campuses on O'ahu, Maui, and Hawai'i, 30 preschool sites; and community educational programs throughout the state.The Helumoa lands under Royal Hawaiian Center continue to provide revenues for Hawaiian education.

Five years after Pauahiʻs passing, Charles Reed Bishop established the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum as a memorial to his beloved wife on the campus of the Kamehameha School for Boys.

In the spirit of Princess Pauahi's, commitment to Hawaiian heritage and education, Royal Hawaiian Center at Helumoa is proud to serve as a gathering place for kama‘aina and malihini (locals and visitors) and hub of Hawaiian culture through entertainment, cultural enrichment classes and festive community events.