Did You Know?
- Stone of Destiny - The Coronation Stone
Legend says that the Stone of Destiny was used as a pillow by Jacob in biblical times. It was believed to have been brought to Scotland in the 9th century. (Other experts suggest it was quarried in the Oban area).
It was used as part of the crowning ceremonies of the kings of Dalriada, in the west of Scotland (now Argyll).
When Kenneth I, the 36th King of Dalriada moved his capital to Scone from western Scotland around 840AD, the Stone of Destiny was moved there too. Coronations of Scottish kings took place at Moot Hill at Scone Palace. There is now only a replica of the stone there.
John Balliol was the last Scottish king to be crowned on the stone at Scone in 1292.
The Stone was taken from Scone by King Edward I of England in 1296 and remained under the Coronation Throne at Westminster Abbey in London for 700 years. However, there have always been theories that the Scots did not hand over the real stone!
On December 25, 1950 a group of Scottish Nationalists removed the Stone and brought it back to Scotland where it remained for four months before it was returned. Or was it? There have been suggestions that a copy was returned, compounding the earlier stories about substitution.
The stone finally came back to Scotland on St Andrew's Day, 30 November 1996, and is housed beside the other Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle. Historic Scotland examined the stone on its arrival and pronounced that it was "probably" the original stone from Dalriada.
In the event of a future coronation of a British monarch, the Stone of Destiny is to be temporarily replaced under the Coronation Throne at Westminster Abbey.
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