Princess Abigail Kawananakoa has donated $15,000 to support Iolani Palace as it reopens to the public. 

Iolani Palace has been a very popular tourist destination due to its status as the only official royal residence in the United States. But the palace closed in early March due to COVID-19.

However, even before COVID-19, the palace has been struggling to find funds to repair the roof, which has not been touched since 1970, among other deterioration. 

In this Feb. 4, 2010 photo provided by the Iolani Palace, Abigail Kawananakoa, center, meets the King of Tonga, right, as Executive Director Kippen de Alba Chu, left, looks on outside the palace in Honolulu. The 91-year-old Native Hawaiian heiress, Kawananakoa, is fighting her former lawyer over control of her $215 million fortune. Many Native Hawaiians consider Kawananakoa to be the last Hawaiian princess, a tenuous link to when Hawaii was ruled by a royal family. (Douglas Askman/Iolani Palace via AP)
In this Feb. 4, 2010 photo provided by Iolani Palace, Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, center, meets the King of Tonga, right, as Executive Director Kippen de Alba Chu, left, looks on outside the palace in Honolulu. The heiress has donated $15,000 to the palace to offset its electric bill. Douglas Askman/Iolani Palace via AP

The palace officially reopened in early June, albeit to a much smaller crowd, which has still not generated enough profit for the repairs.

Kawananakoa, the heiress to the Campbell estate and descendant of one of the Hawaiian alii families, has had a long history of giving to Hawaiian cultural preservation. She says in a release that helping preserve and support the Iolani Palace has been a big part of her life’s mission. 

The funds will help pay for the palace’s monthly electric bill, which totals around $15,000, due to the multiple HVAC systems that run 24/7 to preserve artifacts and other pieces of history. 

“The Princess has been our largest benefactor over the years and we can’t mahalo her enough for her continued generosity, especially during these challenging times,” Paula Akana, executive director for The Friends of Iolani Palace, said in a release Thursday.

Kawananakoa is asking others to match her donation or give what they can to help support Iolani Palace through the present financial crisis.

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