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The Stone of Destiny leaves Edinburgh for Westminster and the Coronation of King Charles III

The Stone of Destiny has been carried from Edinburgh Castle to begin the journey to London for the Coronation of King Charles III.

The Stone is traditionally placed in the Coronation Chair for the crowning of a new Monarch.

It was kept in the chair for seven centuries after being taken from Scotland by King Edward I of England in 1296.

In 1996, it was returned to Scotland with the agreement of Queen Elizabeth II and the then Prime Minister, John Major. However, it was confirmed that the Stone would be returned to Westminster for future Coronations.

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The slab, also known as the Stone of Scone, was piped from Edinburgh Castle in a short ceremony on April 27 2023. It was attended by Lord Lyon King of Arms, the Monarch’s representative in Scotland, and the Scottish First Minister, Humza Yousaf, who is also Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland.

It was carried slowly from the building, where it is usually on display in the Castle Crown Room, and taken to a special carrier made of Scottish oak which has been designed to keep it safe and intact during its journey to London.

It will be placed in the Coronation Chair ahead of the May 6 ceremony and returned to Edinburgh in the weeks after the service.

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The Stone of Destiny is a powerful symbol of Scotland for many. On Christmas Day 1950, it was stolen by four students from Glasgow who broke into the Abbey and whisked the Stone back to Scotland where it remained hidden for several months. It later reappeared in Arbroath Abbey. It was brought back to England in time for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II but its location remained contentious until the decision to return it to Scotland.

In 2024, it will be taken to a new, permanent home at Perth Museum.

The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla takes place on May 6 2023 at Westminster Abbey.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.