When King Charles is crowned at Westminster Abbey next Saturday, the ceremony will be steeped with symbolism through the various objects and rituals involved. One such object is the Stone of Destiny—or Stone of Scone—which has now traveled from its home in Edinburgh Castle to London for the event.

The Stone of Scone (pronounced scoon) is an oblong block of pale sandstone and an ancient symbol of Scotland’s monarchy. It has a fascinating history and will be positioned underneath the coronation chair that King Charles sits on when he is crowned on May 6.

The stone was used for the inaugurations of Scottish kings hundreds of years ago. But it was seized from Scone Palace, Scotland in 1296 by King Edward I of England (who was also nicknamed Hammer of the Scots for his repeated attempts to invade Scotland) and taken to England. Legend has it that it was the stone that Jacob rested his head on in the Old Testament, however it has since been discovered by geologists that it originated from the Scone area.

Edward had the oak coronation chair made specially to hold the stone, and it was first used for the coronation of his son Edward II in 1308. Despite putting the stone into the chair as a symbol of his conquest, Edward’s rule over Scotland was short-lived. Robert the Bruce led the rebellion that saw him crowned King of Scotland in 1306.

Nevertheless, the stone remained in England and the coronation chair containing the stone has been used for the coronations of English and later British monarchs since 1308, but in 1996 it was decided it would be given back to Scotland and it is now on display in Edinburgh Castle. It was removed on Friday to be brought to Westminster Abbey and will be returned to Scotland after the ceremony.

Until it was sent back to Scotland it had hardly left Westminster Abbey. However, it was taken from the Abbey by Scottish students in 1950 who wanted to make a statement about Scottish nationalism. They buried a section of it in Kent, but later recovered it and handed it over. It was taken back to Westminster Abbey and used for the 1953 coronation.

2023-04-29T15:37:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd