The Stone of Destiny will be temporarily relocated from Scotland to London for the coronation of King Charles III.
The iconic sandstone block was used as the seat to crown ancient kings of Scotland for several centuries before it was removed in the late 1200s and built into a new throne at Westminster Abbey.
It was famously reclaimed by four Scottish students some 700 years later, but was present when Elizabeth II was crowned at the Abbey in 1953.
It will now return to London from its current home at Edinburgh Castle for Charles’ coronation – the date of which is yet to be confirmed.
A spokeswoman for Historic Environment Scotland (HES) confirmed: “HES staff will move the Stone of Destiny to Westminster Abbey in advance of the Coronation and then return it to Scotland.”
HES manages a number of historic locations across Scotland, including Edinburgh Castle, where the stone is among the items on display in the Crown Room.
The HES website notes: “The stone will only leave Scotland again for a coronation in Westminster Abbey.”
The Stone of Destiny, which is described as being coarse-grained, pinkish buff sandstone, is seen as a historic symbol of Scotland’s monarchy, and was used in the inauguration of Scottish kings for centuries.
In 1296, then-king of England, Edward I, had it removed from Scotland and it was built into a new throne at Westminster Abbey in London.
It was only returned to Scotland on St Andrew’s Day in November 1996 – 46 years after the students repatriated the artefact, stowing it at the high altar of Arbroath Abbey.
In November 2020, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to relocate the stone – which is also known as the Stone of Scone – to Perth.