On this date in 1951, the Stone of Scone, also known as the the Stone of Destiny and the Coronation Stone was returned to the British government after it was taken to Scotland.
Here are some things you may not have known about the stone and the plot to steal it.
The stone is a 336-pound block of red sandstone that monarchs sit on during the coronation ceremony.
When it began being used ceremonially is not clear.
One legend says that the stone is the Stone of Jacob, from the book of Genesis, and was delivered to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah. King Fergus I, the founder of Scotland in national myth, is said to have brought the stone to Scotland.
The stone was used for all Scottish coronations until 1296, when Edward I of England captured the stone and brought it to Westminster Abbey as a spoil of war.
Edward used the stone to claim to be “Lord Paramount” of Scotland, ranking above the King of Scotland.
The stone was placed in a recess under the Coronation Chair, also called King Edward’s Chair, which is the where most subsequent English monarchs have been crowned.
In 1328, the Kingdoms of Scotland and England agreed to a treaty which was to see the stone returned north. However, riotous crowds prevented the transfer. It remained in England for the next 600 years. However since 1603, the monarch of Scotland and England has been the same person, either by personal union, or by law since 1707.
On Christmas 1950, four Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey and brought it back to Scotland. Breaking it in two along the way. It was kept for a time in a trunk in a basement before it was repaired. The British government undertook a massive search for the stone, which was unsuccessful. On April 11, 1951, the stone was left on the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It was returned to Westminster Abbey four months later.
In 1996, the stone was once again returned to Scotland, where it is kept when not being used for coronations. It is held at Edinburgh Castle, alongside the crown jewels of Scotland.
Our question: Who was the last monarch of Scotland who did not also rule England?
Today is World Parkinson’s Disease Day.
It’s International “Louie Louie” Day, National Eight-Track Tape Day, and Barbershop Quartet Day.
It’s the birthday of Ethel Kennedy, fashion designer Oleg Cassini, and musician Joss Stone.
Because our topic happened before 1960, we will spin the wheel to pick a year at random.
This week in 1983, the top song in the U.S. was “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson.
The No. 1 movie was “Tootsie,” while the novel “The Little Drummer Girl” by John le Carre topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.
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