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America’s Only Royal Palace

By Linda Tancs

A National Historic Landmark, Iolani Palace is the only official royal residence in the United States. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, it was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua and was the home of Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. The mansion was ahead of its time, outfitted (even before the White House) with electricity (the first electric lights in Hawaii) and a telephone. A tour of the first floor consists of the public reception areas: the Grand Hall, State Dining Room, Blue Room and Throne Room. The second floor showcases the private suites, including the King and Queen’s suites, Music Room and the Imprisonment Room, where Queen Liliuokalani was sentenced to house arrest for eight months following a failed coup by royalists in 1895.

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