Check out some rare footage of the last reigning Monarch of the Hawaiian islands, Queen Liliuokalani.
Queen Liliuokalani (1838-1917) born Lydia Kamakaeha, became crown princess in 1877 after the death of her youngest brother made her the heir apparent to her elder brother, King Kalakaua. By the time she took the throne herself in 1891, a new Hawaiian constitution had removed much of the monarchy’s powers in favor of an elite class of mainly American businessmen and wealthy landowners.
When Liliuokalani acted to restore these powers, a U.S. military-backed coup deposed her in 1893 and formed a provisional government; Hawaii was declared a republic in 1894. Liliuokalani signed a formal abdication in 1895 but continued to appeal to U.S. President Grover Cleveland for reinstatement, without success. The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898.
A skilled musician, Queen Liliuokalani wrote more than 160 songs and chants in her lifetime, including "Aloha Oe," which became a national anthem of Hawaii. It was inspired by a horseback ride in Oahu in 1877, when she witnessed a farewell embrace between two lovers.
Hawaiians have long since tried to reinstate their own powers for the people, and the recent resurgence of self-governance as an independent nation has bought attention to it's long-standing history with the US Government.