There is one common thread that holds most monarchies together. Bloodlines, royal jewels, ceremonies, and associated pomp all boil down to a feeling of tradition that monarchies bring to their subjects. Often one, or more, of these elements become as important as the monarch themselves.
The Stone of Scone, sometimes called the Stone of Destiny, can certainly be placed in this class. The Stone has been a part of the Scottish and English coronation ceremonies since at least 847. From looking at the Stone, one could not discern there was any importance to it at all. There is nothing physically remarkable about the stone, it is not jewel encrusted nor is it of any unusual material. As it appears today, it is a sandstone block measuring 26 inches long by 16 inches wide, and 10 1/2 inches deep.
However from the humble outward appearance, the Stone has a remarkable history. The first Scottish King Kenneth Mac Alpin was seated on the Stone of Scone during his coronation. The Stone helped crown all Scottish Kings, and John Balliol, until it was stolen by the English Army in 1296. There it rested in Westminster Abbey nearly tucked under Saint Edward’s chair. With the exception of Queen Mary II, all English sovereigns have used the Stone and Chair in their coronation ceremony. The Stone was finally returned to
No one knows exactly why this particular stone should have been used in any coronation ceremony. History does not document the reasons behind the use of the Stone. One possible reason might be a connection to the veneration of stones seen throughout the
That’s where tradition and lore come in. The prevalent tradition is that the Stone was used by the Biblical figure Jacob, as a pillow, on the night of his ladder dream. In Jewish tradition, Jacob’s pillow was used as the pedestal for the Ark of the Covenant in Solomon’s
To further muck up the crypto-history of the Stone are the assertions that the Stone that rests in
As lore would have it, the monks at
Supposedly, the monks of
The other twist to the story of the Stone is that it might be a double fake. In 1950, a group of four Scottish college students broke into Westminster Abby to steal the Stone and bring it back to
The group eventually made their way out of
Now enter the Knights Templar. One knows by now that there can’t be any tale of any historical medieval mystery that doesn’t include the Templars. In 1999 a curious offer was made to the Scottish Parliament. A group of modern day Knights Templar claimed they were in possession of the Stone and would return it if Parliament wished. A 33 pound stone, decorated with a single Latin Cross, had been in the care of Rev Dr John MacKay Nimmo for decades before the Stone’s return to
So the possibility exists that the Stone in
Interest in the Stone never quite seems to fade away. This month there is an archeological study being preformed at
One thing is a certainty; the Stone of Scone has become a Holy Grail in its own right. Men and women have fought to possess it or to obscure it from those unworthy to lay claim to the Stone. In the end, what could follow the basic theme behind the Grail than that?