BBC » King David La’amea Kalākaua » The first king to travel around the world, had tea with the Queen, was blessed by the Pope, and spread Hawaiian culture across the globe.
During Kalākaua’s international diplomacy tour, he was greeted by the Emperor of Japan to the sounds of Hawai’i Pono’ī (the Kingdom’s national anthem, which Kalākaua had written); he proposed immigration policies with Chinese politicians; he toured the Great Sphinx with the Khedive of Egypt; he was blessed by Pope Leo XIII in Rome; he had tea with Queen Victoria of England, and he boarded a train that was struck by a bull in Spain. In New York, Kalākaua met with Thomas Edison to discuss the possibility of getting electricity to Honolulu. In 1886, the king’s wish came true. ‘Iolani Palace (which is now a museum and the only royal residence in the United States), became illuminated with electric lights – five years before the White House did.