General view of the Stone of Destiny

The Stone of Destiny

The Stone of Destiny is an ancient symbol of Scotland’s monarchy, used for centuries in the inauguration of its kings. Seen as a sacred object, its earliest origins are now unknown.

In 1296, King Edward I of England seized the stone from the Scots, and had it built into a new throne at Westminster. From then on, it was used in the coronation ceremonies of the monarchs of England and then Great Britain.

On Christmas Day 1950, four Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey in London. Three months later it turned up 500 miles away – at the high altar of Arbroath Abbey.

In 1996, the stone was officially returned to Scotland. Today, it is one of the priceless treasures on display in the Crown Room, visited by millions of people each year. The stone will only leave Scotland again for a coronation in Westminster Abbey.

The Stone is displayed alongside the Crown Jewels in the Royal Palace on the east side of Crown Square.