The new ʻIolani Palace was completed in the latter part of 1882 and was formally opened with a banquet given by Kalakaua for the Masonic fraternity of the capital on the evening of St John’s Day, December 27. (Liliʻuokalani)
The coronation of King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiʻolani on Monday, February 12, 1883, the ninth anniversary of his accession was an imitation of the custom of European monarchical states.
The native ceremony of the Poni, or an anointment, had in former times been practiced by the chiefs; but it was deemed desirable that the more modern Christian rite should be celebrated. (Kuykendall)
In 1891 her brother, King Kalākaua, died and Liliʻuokalani succeeded to the throne.
The name Poni means Coronation. Liliʻuokalani named her pet Poni.
Her poi dog was her companion and was trained only in Hawaiian. (Maui Historical Society)
“(Liliʻuokalani) loved all dogs, but Poni best of all” said Colonel Iaukea. “Poni was the king of dogs to his mistress.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 10, 1917)
Then, Liliʻuokalani fell ill.
“Word of the final dissolution will be announced to the public by the tolling of the bells of Kawaiahaʻo church and St Andrew’s cathedral, special arrangements having been made to inform the people of Honolulu immediately Her Majesty has breathed her last.”
“With little perceptible change, except the continual weakening of the life force, the aged Queen lies today as she lay all day yesterday, in a state of half consciousness, from which she arouses from time to time to turn tired, but still bright eyes, on those of her best loved friends who are permitted to go to her bedside.”
“On the floor at the foot of the great koa bed lies ‘Poni,’ Her Majesty’s small dog and faithful friend, his woolly little head resting on his paws, and his big brown eyes looking out mournfully on a world that has gone all wrong for him, for his beloved mistress no longer speaks to him.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 10, 1917)
Queen Liliʻuokalani died at Washington Place on November 11, 1917, at the age of 79. After a state funeral, her remains were placed in the Royal Mausoleum.
“Poni, small treasured descendant of many canine tribes, banished from the beloved presence of the queen by her death, has found a comforter in Mrs. Lahilahi Webb, who, through the expressed wish of Her Majesty a few weeks before her death, is now Poni’s mistress. The dog was the queen’s constant companion to her death.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 14, 1917)
The image shows Liliʻuokalani and Poni at Washington Place in 1917, the year she died.