About Us » School History

School History

We are Na Ali'i of Royal School
We have a rich and royal past...
As the words to our school song state, Royal School truly has a proud past. Founded in 1839 during the reign of King Kamehameha III, O'ahu's first school was called the Chief's Children's School. The cornerstone of the original school was laid on June 28, 1839 in the area where the Iolani barracks now stand. Mr. and Mrs. Amos Cooke, missionaries from New England, were commissioned to teach the 16 royal children. Among Royal's famous alumni are Kamehameha V, who ruled the islands from 1864-1872, Queen Emma, King David Kalakaua, Queen Lili'uokalani, William Lunalilo, and Bernice Pauahi, who married Charles Reed Bishop and left a large legacy for the education of future generations of Hawaiians. In 1846 the name was officially changed to Royal School and attendance was restricted to descendants of the royal line and heirs of the chiefs. In 1850, a second school was built on the site of the present Royal School; it was opened to the general public in 1851. In 1904, a two-story building was constructed and, in 1967, the present school was built. A new administration/library building was erected in 2000.
On the slopes of Punchbowl we work together
Towards a future that will last...
Royal School is centrally located at 1519 Queen Emma Street. Its proximity to downtown Honolulu provides opportunities for interaction with businesses and cultural resources. The staff, parents, and community members work together to develop well-rounded individuals who will make positive contributions to society.

With caring and aloha, we grow and work and play
We learn to live and respect we give with each and every day....
The student population reflects a richness of ethnicities, cultures, and languages. This diversity provides a wealth of opportunities for enhancing interpersonal understanding and caring.
We are Na Ali'i of Royal School, ever forward we will go
Our hearts and minds are full of pride, for Royal School we love you so.
We envision our students as critical and creative thinkers who use open-minded, risk-taking approaches to problem solving. We want to help students become independent thinkers who take responsibility for doing their best. We work together now and look with excitement to the future as we strive to fulfill our vision:
TOGETHER....Smarter, Better, Higher.