England ‘has no right’ to use Stone of Scone for next coronation

England has no right to use the Stone of Scone for Prince Charles’ coronation, says the man who stole the stone in 1950.

Ian Hamilton, 90, said that as The Queen, ie the British Monarch, is not the Head of the Church of Scotland, it should not be assumed that the stone will be allowed to leave its home in Edinburgh for the next coronation.

A man who stole the Stone of Scone - used at English coronations for 700 years - has said it should not be assumed it will be used at Charles' coronation. Bill Jay

A man who stole the the Stone of Scone – used at English coronations for 700 years – has said it should not be assumed it will be used at Charles’ coronation. Bill Jay

The Scone of Destiny, as the relic is also known, has been used in English coronations since 1296, when Edward I took it from Scotland as spoils of war. Its origins are unclear, though some cite biblical heritage.

The red sandstone block sat under the coronation chair until 1996, when it was returned to Edinburgh Castle on St Andrew’s Day, to sit alongside the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Mr Hamilton, who stole the stone with three other students in 1950, said: “The Queen has no right to order the stone’s disposal in and from Scotland.

“A new sovereign must decide if he is to be crowned on the coronation stone.


A replica of the Stone of Destiny is kept at Scone Palace, . Bill Jay.

A replica of the Stone of Destiny is kept at Scone Palace, . Bill Jay.

The comments were made in an essay for The Westminster Abbey Chorister, in which he also called the return of the stone in 1996 a ‘political trick’ from PM John Major.

“Which of the two governments will he [Charles] consult?” Hamilton questioned. “Let us hope it is decided with calm reason.”


While it is expected that Prince Charles’ coronation will be much different to his mother’s of 1953, to include numerous faiths and represent a modern monarchy in modern Britain, traditions such as the ceremonial order and stone are not expected to change.

Hamilton further made comment on the crown jewels and the provenance of the gems: “The English crowns are loaded with the spoils of empire, the Koh-I-Nooramd Cullinan diamonds are the least of them.

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1 comment

tryingtimes Mon 21 December, 2015 - 2:37 pm

England has no right to use “Stone of Scone”, but Scotland does have that right, as does the monarch of Scotland.

Scotland must remember it is still part of Great Britain, and part of the United Kingdom, and it’s the Scottish monarch – which is the same as the British monarch – who is being crowned!

People so often think of Queen Elizabeth II as being the English queen, but forget she is also the Scottish queen, and queen of all of the United Kingdom. Her heir, too, will be monarch over the entire United Kingdom and not just of England, but of Scotland, too. And because of that, the next British monarch should have the “right” (or the “privilege”) of using the “Stone of Scone” for the coronation ceremony.

The relationship between England and Scotland has quite a history. As a result there have been many hard feelings on both sides. But regardless of the original reasons for the creation of Great Britain, and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, any claims that Scotland has been “conquered” by England and any claims of “victimhood” by Scotland were negated once Scotland was given the referendum last year, when Scotland was allowed free will and free vote to decide whether to remain in Great Britain or leave it.

As we all remember, Scotland voted freely to remain as part of Great Britain. So Scotland can no longer claim they are the “victim” as one who has been “conquered” by the “enemy” – England. Scotland and England are now bound together by free will, not by right of conquer, and should therefore participate together in the government and the ceremonies of the whole country – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Scotland should freely offer, and wish to actively participate, in the coronation of their next monarch.


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