Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, August 16, 1999

By Carl Shaneff, Aloha Festivals
Princess Jaclyn Kauiokalani Lee, left, King Clyde Kelekoma
Kaimuloa, Queen Charlene Kaohunani Carla Sakaguchi and
Princess Deanna Kaluapiilahaina Covaco will represent the
royal family of Oahu in this year's Aloha Festivals.

Where have all the
princes gone?

By Stephanie Kendrick
Assistant Features Editor


Something women have maintained for a long time turns out to be true. Princes are becoming increasingly hard to find.

So hard, in fact, that Oahu's Royal Court is princeless for the first time in the history of Aloha Festivals.

"We did not have prince candidates apply for the position," said Janet Hyrne, Aloha Festivals executive director.

So instead of the usual king, queen, prince and princess grouping, this year, the court will have two princesses.


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All the members of the court volunteer their time and the commitment is significant.

After the selection process is completed, the court goes through a training process that consists of two or three full-day sessions, and is ongoing throughout the year-long reign. They are trained in the history, dress and comportment of 18th- to 19th-century island monarchs.

And that is just the beginning.

"Over a three-week period they are making several appearances a day," said Hyrne. Beginning with the vestiture of the court on Thursday and continuing through September, the court will appear at multiple events virtually every day, she said. Then they are on call for the rest of the year.

Aloha Festivals excuses court members for school conflicts they cannot reschedule. But, Hyrne said, conflicts with the fall sporting season are a major reason the number of young male applicants has been declining.

"Football, basketball comes first," said Moana Yee, Aloha Festivals executive secretary and royal court coordinator.

Paul Dunlap, last year's Oahu prince, managed to serve on the court without sacrificing his desire to play football.

"I played football. I had to talk to my coach and tell him what games I was going to miss. He was understanding because I'd shown my commitment (to football) before," said Dunlap. But the recent Kamehameha Schools graduate admitted his coach was not exactly thrilled and might not have made the same accommodation for another player.

Despite the time commitment, Dunlap enjoyed his court stint.

"It was very awesome being in the court. I felt like a real prince," he said.

"The reason why I went out for it is because I love my Hawaiian heritage," said Dunlap. "I learned a lot from it.

"I would recommend it. I wish I could do it again," he said.

And he may do just that. Dunlap, who is soon to start premed studies at Hawaii Pacific University, intends to try out for king. But he has to wait until he's 30.

Dunlap had a different take on why male candidates were scarce.

"The main reason men don't want to do it is because they are wearing a malo. If we were wearing old-fashioned clothes, like during King Kalakaua's time, I think more men would do it," he said.

Yee disagreed.

She said some of the older men are uncomfortable wearing the loincloth, but the younger men, many of whom dance hula and are familiar with the brief costume, aren't bothered. "They'll drop their drawers anywhere," she said.

While Yee and Hyrne would like to see more young men try out for the court, they are happy to have so many would-be princesses apply.

With so many eager and qualified applicants, the organizers decided to accept two princesses for this year's festival, said Hyrne.

"In families you don't always have a boy and a girl, so certainly you could have a royal family with two girls and we will have one this year," she said.

The 1999 Oahu Royal Court consist of King Clyde Kelekoma Kaimuloa, owner of Holopapa Wood Flooring; Queen Charlene Kaohunani Carla Sakaguchi, a day-care provider; Princess Deanna Kaluapiilahaina Covaco, a senior at Kamehameha Schools; and Princess Jaclyn Kauiokalani Lee, a junior at Kamehameha.

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