The Stone of Destiny is back in Scotland after it was moved to London for the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
The ancient symbol of Scotland’s monarchy, on which Scottish kings were crowned for hundreds of years before it was seized by Edward I in the 13th century and taken to England, is now back on show in Edinburgh Castle.
There, the Crown Room opened a little later than usual this morning as the stone was put back in place by the Honours of Scotland.
Details surrounding its return date were kept private by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), with a statement released on Tuesday morning after the journey north was completed.
Kathy Richmond, head of collections and applied conservation at HES, said: “We are delighted to have fulfilled our responsibilities on behalf of the Commissioners for the Safeguarding of the Regalia and that the Stone of Destiny is now back on display for visitors to Edinburgh Castle to enjoy.”
“Historic Environment Scotland is proud of the hard work that went into achieving this, not just by our teams, but by the partners who supported us and collaborated to ensure the stone was safely included and returned to the castle.”
Police and the army were involved in the treasured item’s move south earlier this month. The stone’s departure from Scotland has been heavily politicised by former first minister Alex Salmond, leader of the Alba Party, who calmed First Minister Humza Yousaf should have ordered police to have a “stand-off” at Edinburgh Castle to stop it being moved.
At the Alba party conference at the weekend, a motion was passed for the immediate transfer of the Stone of Destiny back to Scotland. Following the coronation, the stone was temporarily on display at Westminster Abbey, giving visitors the chance to view the Coronation Theatre.
The stone will be relocated to Perth as part of the new City Hall Museum, which is due to open next year.