The stone is a highly revered symbol of Scottish sovereignty. It is an oblong block of sandstone that weighs approximately 152 kilograms and it has been the subject of controversy and mystery for centuries, witnessing many turbulent events in British history.
Although geological analysis has shown the stone used today was quarried in Scotland, various legends trace the stone's history back to Biblical times. It was later placed outside Scone Palace in Scotland and featured in the coronation ceremonies of Scottish kings and queens for centuries.
The stone was captured by the English in 1296 during the Wars of Scottish Independence and was taken to Westminster Abbey in London, where it was placed under the seat of the Coronation Chair. It remained there for over 700 years, except for a brief period during the Second World War when it was moved to a secure location.
The theft of the Stone of Scone from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1950 by a group of Scottish nationalists created a sensation. The stone was taken to Scotland and hidden in various locations until it was eventually found on the altar of Arbroath Abbey. The stone was finally returned to Scotland by the British government in 1996. It was then placed in Edinburgh Castle alongside the Scottish Crown Jewels. But in the last few days, with the coronation of King Charles III approaching, the stone has once again made its way down to Westminster Abbey to take part in the ceremony.