During the 1890s when Princess Ka'iulani was living in Hove the green shoots of film-making were stirring. Some of the first films were made by William Friese-Greene, Esmé Collings and George Albert Smith in the streets around Hove and in the area between the two piers. In 1892 George Albert Smith leased St Anns Well gardens where he began to stage public exhibitions of hot air ballooning, parachute jumps, a monkey house, a fortune teller, a hermit living in a cave and magic lantern shows of a series of dissolving views.

Princess Ka'iulani was here to study and prepare herself for her future role as Queen of the Hawaiian Islands, so perhaps it is unlikely that she indulged in such entertainments but it is intriguing to think that she might have crossed paths with some of these early film makers!
Archive images from the James Gray Collection, the photographic archive of The Regency Society. Modern images Dylan Scalet and Kevin Hooper.