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The Return of the Stone of Scone to Scotland
"Unless the fates be faulty grown
And prophet’s voice be vain
Where’er is found this sacred stone
The Scottish race shall reign."
~ translation of an ancient prophecy by Sir Walter Scott
The Stone of Scone also known as the Stone of Destiny or Coronation Stone - is an oblong block of red sandstone that has been used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland (and later of Great Britain). But is it true stone? Some believe this stone is the same as the Irish Lia Fáil, the Stone of Destiny, brought to Ireland thousands of years ago by the magical Tuatha de Danann, the supernatural "tribe of the gods". The Lia Fáil was the coronation stone of the High Kings of Ireland, situated at the center of the royal complex at Tara in County Dublin, until its removal to Scotland by way of Iona by by Kenneth MacAlpin circa 841 AD. where it was newly named for the the now-ruined Scone Abbey in Scone, Perth. Some believe the stone was quarried near Perth. But during Edward I's invasion of Scotland in 1296, the stone was forcibly removed to Westminster Abbey to be used in the coronation of monarchs up until the 20th century. However, was it the real stone? The Westminster Stone theory posits that the monks at Scone Palace hid the real stone in the River Tay, or buried it on Dunsinane Hill, and that the English troops were tricked into taking a substitute. Proponents of this theory claim that historic descriptions of the stone do not match the present stone. Regardless, on December 25, 1950 a group of students from the University of Glasgow decided to liberate the stone and return it to Scotland. The stone remained hidden (and possibly replicated) for four months before being returned to Westminster. Finally, in 1996, the stone was returned to Scotland and officially installed beside the other Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle on St Andrew's Day (with a short return for the coronation of Charles III this year). 🏴 👑 🪨
The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone ( “Clach-na-cinneamhain," “stone of descent”), is symbolic of Scottish sovereignty and independence and was used as the coronation seat for Scottish kings beginning with Fergus, early in the 6th century.
The Stone has a colourful history.
In 1296 Edward I of England stole from the Abbey of Scone in Perthshire, Scotland and installed it in his own Abbey of Westminster in London. Several attempts to steal or reacquire the stone were made over time.
In 1892, Fenians, working to gain independence for Ireland, allegedly conspired to steal the Stone from Westminster and take it to Ireland. This plan was never executed.
In 1950 a small group of people did manage to steal the Stone of Scone and transport it back to Scotland. It was quickly recovered, however, and returned to London where it remained for another forty-six years.
In 1996, the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland formally on St. Andrew's Day where it is now on display in Edinburgh Castle.
This tartan was designed to commemorate the return of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster to Scotland.
For more about the history of famous stones of royalty, click The Stone of Destiny!