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  • FOIP-1001

    2018 Iolani Palace Ornament: Russian Royal Order

    During his 1881 World Tour, King Kalakaua had intended to visit Imperial Russia. Sadly, this was not meant to be as Czar Alexander ll was assassinated. For his safety, and to respect a nation in mourning, King Kalakaua canceled his planned trip to the country. In 1883, King Kalakaua sent a diplomatic delegation including Curtis P. Iaukea, to attend the coronation of Czar Alexander lll of Russia. They presented the newly crowned emperor with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Kamehameha l. The following year, Czar Alexander lll dispatched the Russian naval warship Razboynik to Honolulu. Onboard was a gift for King Kalakaua - the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky. In an accompanying letter, the Czar wrote the Royal Order symbolized a "pledge of the relations of friendship happily established between us and of the sincere esteem which I entertain towards you." King Kalakaua responded, "I am heartily thankful for this fresh and gracious assurance of the cordial relations the exist between your great Empire and my Kingdom. The Russian royal order, whose 609 diamonds weigh 16.6 carats, was generously donated to the Friends of Iolani Palace by the Estate of Princess Regina (Regina Wahiikaahuula Kawananakoa).