King Edward's Chair and the Stone of Destiny
King Edward's Chair, the Coronation Chair; also known as St Edward's Chair, was commissioned by Edward I in 1296 to enclose the Stone of Scone, equally known as the Stone of Destiny. The majestic chair
is made of oak, painted by Master Walter and decorated with patterns of birds, foliage and animals on a gold gilded ground. The figure of a king, either Edward the Confessor or Edward I, his feet resting on a lion, was painted on the back. The front originally
held a panel concealing the stone from view. Four gilt lions were added at the base of the chair in the early sixteenth century; the present lions are replacements that date from 1727.
John de Balliol was the last Scottish King crowned on it in 1292 before Edward I of England invaded Scotland in 1296. The Stone of Scone was brought from Scotland in 1296 and placed in the care of the Abbot of Westminster.
This image shows the Stone of Scone still inserted. The stone has since been returned to Scotland.
The chair was named after Edward the Confessor,
and was kept in his shrine of St Edward' Chapel at Westminster Abby.
After two world wars the only real damage this 785 year old
regal chair has suffered has been damage in 1914 when it was the object of a bomb attack, thought to have been instigated by suffragettes; and graffiti by 18th and 19th century schoolboys.
November 15 1996, after a handover ceremony at the border between representatives of the Home Office and of the Scottish Office, it was transported to Edinburgh Castle and returned home to its rightful people. The Stone
arrived in the Castle on St. Andrew's Day, 30 November 1996, and it remains alongside the crown jewels of Scotland in the Crown Room. It will only return to Westminster Abby for the use of coronations.
Until the removal of the Stone to Scotland in 1996 the Chair was the oldest piece of furniture in England still used for the purpose for which it was made.