My Name is Albert Edward

Emma Kaleleonālani Naʻea Rooke (January 2, 183...

Image via Wikipedia

Prince Albert Edward Kamehameha


The tsunami warning had kept me up pretty much the whole night. Sirens went off every hour on the hour until the arrival time of the massive waves that were to hit the Hawaiian Islands. Living up towards the mountains and on the island of Oahu I was pretty sure I was in a safe place. Though if it had been as big as they were expecting there would have been deaths and massive damage that would have rippled through out the islands no matter where you lived.

When Friday morning dawned and I awoke to the news that schools, buses, and some businesses were closed I was not sure if I would be going to the museum. On contact with the floor supervisor for that day I found that the kids I would be working with had canceled. No surprise there. But the museum was crowded and so I went in to lend a hand if extra tours showed up.

Aside from doing tours I really enjoy taking a break for something to eat with my fellow docents. We share what we have learned that might add to our tours and talk about different experiences that we have with visitors. Yesterdays talk turned to some visitors we had from Japan.

One of the docents said he was approached by two Japanese visitors who wanted to know who the little boy was that had been sitting on the bench in one of the exhibit halls. Through an interpreter the visitor said that the little boy said his name was Albert Edward and the little child thanked the visitor for coming to the museum.

This perked the docent right up as he was familiar with the name but knew it could not have been who he was thinking of. He asked the visitor to show him where he had seen the boy. They went up to the “Polynesian Hall” on the second floor where they pointed out a Koa Bench in the main entrance.

The docent thought there would be nothing related to “Albert” in that hall but he was still curious as to who was actually seen there. So he took the visitors to the third floor exhibit where on display is a little wheel barrel and some belongings to “Albert” who was Prince Albert Edward son of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. He had died at the age of four from unknown causes in 1862.

As the visitor looked at the display he turned and saw a portrait of the little prince. (The very one  that you see at the top of the page.) Excitedly he told the docent “that’s him, he is the one who thanked me!” What could the docent say. We’ve all heard stories and some of us have even experienced things at the museum. But I wanted to know more. I would have loved to have seen the little prince. His was such a tragic story and he had such a short little life.

You may not belive in ghost but I took heart in hearing this.  According to this visitor Prince Albert was sitting and enjoying those who came to see his familie’s antiquities.

The little prince was Hawaii’s last hope to continue the Kamehameha line. He was the  people’s greatest joy being  the only child to survive in the royal family line.

He was named after Queen Victoria’s Consort, Prince Albert Edward. At the request of King Kamehameha the IV, Queen Victoria consented to be Prince Albert’s god mother. Not being able to actually come to the islands to take part in the ceremony, Queen Victoria had sent her Bishop to baptize the prince in her place. The Bishop brought a silver baptismal cup that was to hold the water for the prince’s baptism. But it was not to be as the Bishop and his family arrived one day after the death of the prince. (The cup can be seen in the photo of Queen Emma, above.)

If you are able to visit the museum you can see the Kahlil (feather standards for those of the royal line) that Queen Emma, in her grief commissioned for Prince Albert’s funeral. They are in the shape of a flower bud to symbolize the fact that the prince was like the bud of a flower that was never able to bloom.

If by chance some young man approaches you to thank you for your visit, please come and get me. I would so love to meet this young prince. But then I’m not sure. Maybe it would be easier to stay awake and worry about a Tsunami then to think about what may have followed me home from the museum. But then again……


One comment on “My Name is Albert Edward

  1. […] gives us another great story when she posts about My Name is Albert Edward over at Karen in Honolulu.   We often celebrate the lives of Hawaiian royalty but this little guy […]


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