Hawaiian heiress and activist Abigail Kawananakoa has died at 96, Hawaii News Now reports. She is considered by many to be the “last alii.” Alii means nobility.
The heiress was the only child of Lydia Liliuokalani Kawānanakoa, born during her marriage with William Jeremiah Ellerbrock. She died Sunday and her death was announced at the front gate of Iolani Palace this morning.
“With profound sadness, the Kawananakoa family, the Hale O Na Alii O Hawaii and the Iolani Palace announces the passing of Her Royal Highness, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa at 6:45 p.m. last night,” Hailama Farden of Hale O Na Alii O Hawaii said, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “We join each other in a period of mourning.”
According to KHON 2, Kawananakoa died peacefully with her wife Veronica Gail Kawānanakoa by her side.
“Abigail will be remembered for her love of Hawai‘i and its people,” Veronica told KHON 2, “and I will miss her with all of my heart.”
The princess was born in Honolulu in 1926. According to Hawaii News Now, she attended an American school in Shanghai and eventually graduated from an all-female boarding school called Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California.
Kawananakoa was praised for her philanthropy, dedicating a large amount of her fortune to Native Hawaiian causes. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that her charity the Abigail KK Kawananakoa Foundation will administer $100 million for Native Hawaiian causes after her death.
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