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Another royal scion presses claim

Hearing urged on annexation

Honolulu Advertiser
July 24, 1998

By Dan Nakano
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii's other princess-in-waiting - Owana Ka'ohelelani Salazar - plans to make a royal pitch to Congress next month to hold hearings to settle questions about the legality of the United States' annexation of the Islands and restore the monarchy.

Salazar has long disputed the royal claims of Abigail Kawananakoa, president of the Friends of Iolani Palace board of directors. Kawananakoa is in the middle of a palace fight for her presidential title after she reportedly damaged a throne when she sat on it for a Life magazine photo session.

Salazar said Kawananakoa's recent statements - such as one in which she said she is "the big cheese" - show an attitude that is out of sync with nobility.

"Its sad for me to see this arrogance and be proud of it," she said yesterday outside Iolani Palace.

Salazar is asking Life magazine to document its claim that Kawananakoa is the rightful heir to the Hawaiian throne if the monarchy were to continue. Otherwise, Salazar says, Life should retract its story.

She also feels that with momentum building for the 100th anniversary of the annexation, the time is right for Congress to hold hearings on the annexation and the monarchy.

Aug. 12 will be marked with vigils and marches, not celebration, by hundreds of Native Hawaiians. Salazar will be in Washington as part of the Aloha March to observe the annexation and plans to visit congressional leaders.

Hawaii's Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye could not be reached late yesterday for comment.

Some legal experts and Hawaiian activists say that annexation was illegal because the Senate in 1897 failed to gain the two-thirds majority to approve a treaty of annexation.

The defeat was influenced in part by 38,000 signatures on a petition of Native Hawaiians. Instead, a congressional joint resolution to annex Hawaii was passed by a simple majority vote.

"It means simply that this kingdom is still here and all that is missing is the crown," Salazar said. "My family is the royal family."

Salazar traces her lineage directly to Keoua Nui, father of Kamehameha the Great. The Keoua descendants include Princess Elizabeth Kekaaniau Laanui,m the last surviving alumnus of the Royal Boarding School for children eligible to be rulers of the kingdom.

Salazar's family believes that Laanui would have become the rightful heir. Laanui had no children, but her brother's only child was Princess Theresa Owana Ka'ohelelani, Owana Salazar's great-grandmother.

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