King Charles' coronation throne has a controversy behind it that goes back centuries

There is a strange controversy behind King Charles' coronation throne that goes back 700 years - and it involves a 'stone of destiny'

There is a strange controversy behind King Charles' coronation throne that goes back 700 years - and it involves a 'stone of destiny'
(Image credit: Getty)

There is a strange controversy behind King Charles' coronation throne that is set to appear at his coronation in May 2023, and this drama dates back seven centuries!

During the coronation of a new monarch, the crowning and anointing will take place on the traditional Coronation Chair. This chair is also known as the St Edward’s Chair or King Edward's Chair which was carved from oak in a gothic style and made between the summer of 1297 and March 1300.

While this chair has been used for centuries, there is a strange controversy around the chair that was only resolved in the 1990s and may still pose some controversy for King Charles' coronation

coronation chair

(Image credit: Canva / Getty Images)

The chair originally contained the coronation stone of Scotland - also known as the Stone of Destiny or the Stone of Scone-  but this was returned to Scotland in 1996 to be kept in Edinburgh Castle with the other Scottish Crown Jewels. 

The stone was stolen from the Scottish people by the English army during the First Scottish War of Independence in 1296. King Edward I of England had the stone placed in a wooden chair and this then became the King Edward's Chair (also known as the Coronation Chair).

For centuries the chair and the stone lived in Westminster Abbey, but after years of discussions about the significance of the stone to Scottish Cultural history, it was decided that the stone should be returned to Scotland.

coronation chair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Andrew acted on behalf of the crown and in 1996, 700 years after it was first stolen, it was returned to the people of Scotland.

It is thought that the stone will be returned to the chair briefly for King Charles' ceremony, but will then be given back to the Scottish people until the next monarch (Prince William according to the line of succession) is crowned.

Following the Queen's death in September 2022, Historic Environment Scotland announced that the stone would temporarily return to Westminster Abbey for the coronation of Charles III. This is the first time since the stone was returned to Scotland that it will once again sit in Westminster Abbey.

The Prince of Wales Coronet was last worn at Charles' investiture in 1969

(Image credit: Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

When it comes to  May 6, 2023, King Charles won't sit on the Queen's throne at his coronation and he and the Queen consort Camilla will have their own chairs designed for the occasion. These new thrones will be in addition to the St Edward's coronation throne which will also be present in the ceremony.

When the stone of destiny is fitted back into the King Edward's Chair (or the Coronation Chair) it will be the exact chair that was used for Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953 and so the King will once again take the throne that his mother sat on. 

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.