Royal Order of Kalakaua I, Knights Commander
Image courtesy of Robert Prummel, Wikipedia
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The Royal Order of Kalakaua I was implemented by King Kalakaua I on September 28, 1875 to commemorate his election to the throne on February 21, 1874. There are four classes, Knights Grand Cross, Knights Grand Officer, Knights Commander and Knights Companion, bestowed upon both subjects and foreigners.
King Kalakaua I was elected to the throne in 1874 and ruled until his death in 1891. He was referred to as the “Merrie Monarch” due to his love of music, parties and fine food, and is known for restoring cultural practices and traditions to the land and people. He was largely responsible for instituting the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, which allowed Hawaii to export a variety of products including sugar to the US, duty free. King Kalakaua was the last reigning king of Hawaii. He was succeeded by his sister, Liliu’olani.
This Order was awarded to individuals for distinguished service to the state and sovereign, and was bestowed a total of 239 times by King Kalakaua and 15 times by Queen Liliu’olani. A Grand Council of all active conferred individuals in the Kingdom could be called for a general meeting on February 12, each year. The Order was last awarded in 1892 and became obsolete in 1893.
The Knights Commander’s insignia is identical to the Kings Grand Officer, but is worn on a blue and white neck ribbon. While 95 Commander Crosses were awarded, one commission was cancelled on September 11, 1885 and the insignia was returned. Therefore, the Knights Commander was conferred on 94 individuals. Subjects were limited to 30, and paid an admittance fee of $100.
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