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King Kamehameha III

King Kamehameha III


Kamehameha III, Third ruler of the unified Kingdom of Hawai’i

Kauikeaouli was born at Keauhou Bay, Hawai’i Island in August 1814, but celebrated on March 17, 1814. He was the second son of King Kamehameha The Great and his highest ranking wife, Queen Keōpūolani. Kauikeaouli was stillborn, laid on a rock, cleansed with water from nearby Ka’opa Spring and revived by kahuna who chanted over him.

Kauikeaouli’s older brother Liholiho Kamehameha II, Hawai’i Kingdom’s 2nd ruler died at the young age of 26. Kauikeaouli became King Kamehameha III at the young age of 9. As a child, Kauikeaouli shared the early years of his kingdom reign under a regency with Queen Ka’ahumanu, King Kamehameha I favorite wife and queen until her death, then a
shared regency with half-sister Kinau who succeeded Ka’ahumanu as kuhina nui (high ranked officer).

At the age of 19, Kamehameha III gained full power of his reign. He settled into his role as kingdom ruler by formalizing the Hawaiian government establishing a declaration of rights, Hawaii’s first constitution in 1840, judicial and executive branches of government, and a system of land division and ownership under the Great Mahele of 1848.

Kamehameha III held the longest reign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, until his death on December 15, 1854.

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