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An oil on canvas portrait of George IV of the United Kingdom as the Prince Regent, by Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1814, Lord Stewart, who had been appointed ambassador in Vienna and was a previous client of Thomas Lawrence, wanted to commission a portrait by him of the Prince Regent. He arranged that Lawrence should be presented to the Prince Regent at a levée. Soon after, the Prince visited Lawrence at his studio in Russell Square. Lawrence wrote to his brother that: To crown this honour, [he] engag'd to sit to me at one today and after a successful sitting of two hours, has just left me and comes again tomorrow and the next day.
The 1881 world tour of King Kal?kaua of the Kingdom of Hawaii was his attempt to save the Hawaiian culture and population from extinction by importing a labor force from Asia-Pacific nations. His efforts brought the small island nation to the attention of world leaders, but sparked rumors that the kingdom was for sale. Critics in Hawaii believed the labor negotiations were just an excuse to see the world. The 281-day trip gave Kal?kaua the distinction of being the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe; his 1874 travels had made him the first reigning monarch to visit America and the first honoree of a state dinner at the White House.Kal?kaua met with heads of state in Asia, the Mideast and Europe, to encourage an influx of sugar plantation labor in family groups, as well as unmarried women as potential brides for Hawaii's existing contract laborers. While in Asia, he tried to forestall American ambitions by offering a plan to Emperor Meiji for putting Hawaii under the protection of the Empire of Japan with an arranged marriage between his niece Ka?iulani and a Japanese prince. On his visit to Portugal, he negotiated a treaty of friendship and commerce with Hawaii that would provide a legal framework for the emigration of Portuguese laborers to Hawaii. The King had an audience in Rome with Pope Leo XIII and met with many of the crowned heads of Europe. Britain's Queen Victoria and the splendor of her royal life impressed him more than any other monarchy; having been greatly affected by the ornate trappings of European sovereigns, he would soon have Hawaii's monarchy mirror that grandeur.