By Ryan Velez
Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa is a rare example of American royalty, the last living princess of Hawaii and one of the state’s richest people. Despite having $215 million in net worth, Celebrity Net Worth reports that the 91-year-old is now struggling to keep the lights of her palace on after her wife and lawyer are having a fight over her fortune and health.
The issues started last summer when Kawānanakoa had a stroke. At the time, Attorney James Wright was assigned control of Kawānanakoa’s fortune. Wright claims that Kawānanakoa is “unable to meet the essentials of physical health, safety, self-care or financial matters.” Having been her attorney for nearly 20 years, Wright’s reasoning is that he talked to her 3 hours prior to the stroke and that she is not the same person.
Kawānanakoa fired Wright as her personal attorney and married her longtime girlfriend Veronica Worth last fall. Wright has filed a lawsuit saying that Worth is abusing Abigail, but she says she is fine, and that the bruising is from tripping and falling against furniture. Worth claims that Kawānanakoa is still capable of making financial decisions. An independent investigator was hired by the court in September to verify both this claim and the claims of abuse against Worth.
The main issue in the short-term is that the heiress has no control over her finances until this is resolved. Since Wright took control, the electricity bills haven’t been paid on Iolani Palace, which is where she lives and which is also open to the public for tours. The officials who run the palace have been relying on a backup plan to pay the bills and stay open. Funds for a native Hawaiian nursing student scholarship have also been held up.
How exactly does one become a princess of Hawaii anyway? Celebrity Net Worth explains that she is a direct descendant of Prince David Kawānanakoa, an heir to the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Queen Lili’uokalani is Princess Kawānanakoa’s great aunt. She was the last monarch of Hawaii. Her reign ended in 1898 when the U.S. annexed the Hawaiian Islands. Her $215 million fortune includes real estate and racehorses. Kawānanakoa has no political power of clout, but native Hawaiians see her as a living link to their historical past.