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Malie's Majestic Gesture: Supporting History and Heritage at ʻIolani Palace

Supporting Hawaiʻi’s heritage has always been incredibly important to us here at Malie Organics. One particularly special place that holds a great deal of significance in Hawaiian history and culture is ‘Iolani Palace. Once the home of Hawaiian monarchs, this majestic building is a pillar of Hawaiian culture. ‘Iolani Palace isn’t just physically beautiful. It’s also an epicenter of history, culture, and architecture. Learn about the backstory behind ‘Iolani Palace and see how you can be a part of keeping its valor, beauty, and esteem alive. 

Malie's Majestic Gesture: Supporting History and Heritage at ʻIolani Palace

What is ‘Iolani Palace? 

Located in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu, ‘Iolani Palace is a national historic landmark, and the only official royal residence in the United States. Its history is rich and its beauty unmatched. More than a building, the palace is a lasting symbol of the Hawaiian monarchy.

The History of ‘Iolani Palace

Although Hawai’i is now a state within the United States of America, that was not always the case. There was once a time when Hawai’i held its own as an independent sovereign nation as the Hawaiian Kingdom. Back in the 1800s, ‘Iolani Palace was the official residence of Hawaiʻi’s last ruling monarchs, King Kalākaua, “The Merrie Monarch,” and later his sister and successor, Queen Liliʻuokalani.

King Kalākaua and his wife, Queen Kapi’olani, moved into the palace in 1882. Special for numerous reasons including its unique architectural design and advanced interior features, ‘Iolani Palace was designed in the “American Florentine” style, characterized by nods to Italian Renaissance architecture with a Hawaiian influence. Commissioned by King Kalākaua, it is the only building in the world built in the American Florentine style and required three architects for its completion: Thomas J. Baker, Charles J. Wall, and Isaac Moore. The gorgeous interior is known for its beautiful koa staircase, ornate portraits of Hawaiian royalty, elaborate furniture, and ornaments from all around the globe. 

‘Iolani Palace was also the first place in Hawai’i (and one of the world's first royal residences) to have an electric light system, flush toilets, and intra-house telephones. King Kalākaua remained in the royal residence until his death in 1891, at which point his sister Queen Liliʻuokalani became the ruler of Hawai’i.

Queen Lili’uokalani’s short reign (1891-1893) ended abruptly when a provisional U.S. governmental group staged a coup to overthrow the monarchy. This event was just the beginning of several governmental transitions for Hawaiʻi.

Following the overthrow of the Kingdom, the building became the capitol for several Hawaiian governmental operations, including the Provisional Government from 1893-1894, the Republic of Hawaiʻi (1894-1898), the Territory of Hawaiʻi (1898-1895), and the State of Hawaiʻi (1959-present day). The palace was also the temporary headquarters for the military governor of Hawaiʻi during World War I and was used as the capitol building until 1968.

‘Iolani Palace and Hawaiian Culture Today

After years of transition and following World War II, ‘Iolani Palace was in a state of disrepair. The building suffered years of neglect. Fortunately, the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace organized to restore the palace to its original glory. The restoration was completed in 1978 and ‘Iolani Palace opened to the public as a museum. 

Today, visitors are invited to tour the palace’s throne room, imagine themselves in the reception area where royal balls were held, and view the private living quarters of the monarchs. They can see where Queen Liliʻuokalani was imprisoned upstairs following the overthrow of the monarchy and tour the spacious grounds of the palace where King Kalākaua was crowned in 1883.

Mission of The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace 

Dedicated to preserving the legacy of this important chapter of Hawaiian history, The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace is an organization that helps keep the beauty of this residence alive. The mission of the organization is to 

“Preserve, restore, interpret, share, and celebrate the unique cultural, historical, and spiritual qualities of ‘Iolani Palace and its grounds for the benefit of native Hawaiians, the people of Hawaii, and the world.”

The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace see the palace as a living restoration of Hawaiian cultural identity. Maintaining the physical building and its grounds is a representation of the thriving dignity of the people of Hawaiʻi. The organization makes this a possibility through donations and contributions, such as those by Malie Organics.

How You Can Help

There are various ways to get involved with The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace and support its ongoing efforts. 


Tours of ‘Iolani Palace are what make the upkeep and maintenance of the grounds and the building worth it. Spreading the word about the history behind the Palace, including its culture, how it came to be, and the role it plays in Hawaiian society today, are what keep the fervor and excitement of it alive. This can only be fully experienced and captured by visiting the Palace itself. The best way to take it all in is to book a Self-Led Audio Tour or sign up for a Docent-Led Tour. 

Shop at the Palace Shop

With plenty of artifacts and memorabilia available for purchase, the Palace Shop gives visitors the opportunity to take a small piece of their experience with them even after they leave the grounds. The Palace Shop is located in the Barracks building (Hale Koa) and includes a wide variety of merchandise for all ages. Proceeds go towards the ongoing preservation of ‘Iolani Palace. Interested parties may shop directly at the store or can make purchases online

Become a Member

By becoming a member of The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, you’ll have access to complimentary tours of the building and grounds. You’ll also get exclusive invitations and early registration access to specialty programs and events held exclusively by the Palace. Membership is available at several levels, including Kūpuna, Kākoʻo, Kūpaʻa, ʻOhana, Kahu (Attendants) & Koa (Soldier), Chamberlain Circle, and Kalākaua Circle. All memberships are valid for 12 months and come with a 20% discount on most items at The Palace Shops.


Donations are the most straightforward and simple way to give back to ‘Iolani Palace. Financial gifts help support the educational programs and conservation efforts in place. These are what make the palace’s operations possible and allow patrons to continue enjoying them. Interested parties can easily make online donations. For more information about corporate donation packages and other ways to give, you may email


Docents and other volunteers help spread the word about the cultural significance ‘Iolani Palace holds in Hawaiian history. The palace would not be in existence without its steadfast volunteers. There are several ways to volunteer and share the rich history of ‘Iolani Palace. In addition to training as a docent, The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace also needs greeters, guardians, and Palace Shop Kōkua employees to guide visitors along their shopping journeys. 

Purchase from Malie

To help further the efforts to protect the palace, you can also participate in Malie Organics’ initiatives. Malie is proud to have created a special 'Iolani Palace Maile Collection, of which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace. The two specialty products in this collection are a Reed Diffuser and a Cologne. This collection is near and dear to our hearts, as it supports the mission of The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace but does it with our own Malie flair. 

  • ‘Iolani Palace Maile Collection Reed Diffuser

    Perfect for the home, reed diffusers are a simple and natural way to infuse a gentle aroma into any space. Diffusers can scent a whole room without combustion or electricity. Capture the essence of Hawai’i and transport yourself to the islands with indulgent aromas available at Malie.

  • Malie
  • Malie
  • ‘Iolani Palace Maile Collection Cologne

    Perfumes and colognes bring natural island scents straight to you. Malie’s colognes are noticeable without being overpowering, making them perfect for both day and nighttime use. Our perfumes are 100% guilt-free. They are vegan, never tested on animals, and are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone, talc, and gluten.


Purchasing from the ‘Iolani Palace Maile Collection is a direct contribution to The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace. Support this living restoration of Hawaiian national identity and help the organization continue its efforts towards preserving the spiritual and physical multicultural epicenter of Hawai‘i.

For more information about our partnership with The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, please contact us today! You may email or call 808.332.6220. Mahalo!

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