The Hawaiian Monarchy's Legacy: The Bishop's Estate & Kamehameha Schools
Listen to audio sample:
If you are planning on exploring the island of Oahu, here’s something you’d want to visit when you arrive. When you’re on the H1 in Honolulu, the large buildings right next to the highway are the Bishop’s Museum, and further down the road, in the mountains on your far left, the huge white building complex is the Kamehameha Schools. Both the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha schools are the living legacy of the monarchy.
You see, after a succession of royal heirs, Princess Bernice Pauahi was the surviving descendant of King Kamehameha. She married a successful American businessman from New York, named Charles Reed Bishop, hence the name of her estate: the Bishop Estate. Witnessing the steady decline of her people, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, with the support of her husband, bequeathed her entire estate to the education of Hawaiian children and preservation of Hawaiian culture. Today, her estate has about $15 billion dollars of assets under management, making Kamehameha Schools the wealthiest independent k-12 school in the world.
And this may come as a surprise to you, but part of Princess Pauahi’s estate includes the ownership of the entire Waikiki - yes, every hotel and establishment in Waikiki is sitting on leased lands that belong to the Estate. That's a lot of very expensive lease payments! But it's good to know that by visiting Hawaii and staying in Waikiki, you are helping perpetuate the education and culture of the Hawaiian people - for generations to come.
Interested in Hawaiian culture?
Learn more on our Grand Circle Island Tour!