• Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Organized by: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

Last update: May 02, 2023, 11:14 a.m. HST

Glasgow, Scotland/London, England

Coronation of King Charles III: The King’s Bodyguards for Scotland and members of the Royal Company of Archers stand guard near the Stone of Destiny at Westminster Abbey during a ceremonial welcome, in the central London, Britain (Image: Reuters)

The Stone of Scone or the Stone of Destiny is a symbol of Scottish nationality, but the English seized it from Scotland and crowned its kings there.

The Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, left Edinburgh Castle for the first time in 25 years for the coronation of King Charles III. The Royal Family perceives the Stone of Scone as a sacred object and it is an ancient symbol of the Scottish monarchy.

The Stone of Scone has been used for the coronation ceremonies of its kings since the 9th century.

The name also comes from Scone Palace located in Perth, Scotland.

The former monarch would have their investiture as kings by sitting on them.

A report from Conversation says that Scottish kings considered the stone sacred because in the absence of crowns and other regalia, the Stone of Destiny became an important symbol of the Scottish royal family and was a representative of a strong foundation for the kingdom.

The Stone of Destiny was placed in a section under the seat of the Coronation Chair after the Revolutionary Wars, Edward made the stone part of the chair.

When King Edward I of England seized the stone in 1296, he had erected it into a new throne at Westminster. It remained in England until 1996, then was returned for permanent exhibition in Scotland in 1996.

Scotland and England have agreed that the Stone will revert to Westminster Abbey for any future coronations. It is a 150 kg red sandstone slab, measuring 66 cm long, 42 cm wide and 27 cm high.

This has been used at the inaugurations of 26 kings and queens at Westminster Abbey since then.

The stone was also stolen from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1950 when four students from Glasgow broke into Westminster Abbey and brought it back to Scotland. They were led by Ian Hamilton who wanted to make a statement regarding Scottish independence and self-government.

Hamilton later told the BBC that the Stone of Destiny is the icon of Scotland and accused England of stealing the symbol of Scotland. He said the act was a symbolic gesture.

It returned to Westminster Abbey on 11 April 1951 and was reinstated in the Coronation Chair when used two years later at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

After Charles’ coronation, the stone will return to Edinburgh Castle, then later in 2024 it will be housed in the new Perth Museum.

(with contributions from Reuters, Indian Express and Times of India)

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