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Donkin's World: Jock Rock Shock

Author and journalist Richard Donkin muses on the history of the Stone of Destiny, better known as the Stone of Scone, and the future of the British monarchy.

Do visit Richard’s Web site http://www.richarddonkin.com/

Details of his best-selling book Blood, Sweat and Tears, can be found here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Sweat-Tears-Evolution-Work/dp/1587990768/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214554429&sr=1-2

Visiting Edinburgh I had the opportunity to see the Scottish Crown Jewels, including the Stone of Destiny, better known as the Stone of Scone.

The Scots are attached to their stones which made Edward I's decision to make off with the sacred Stone of Destiny as war loot in 1296 all the more spiteful. For good measure, he had it installed under the throne in Westminster Abbey.

After a 700-year interlude, the British Government decided finally that it should be returned to the Scots in 1996.

Now Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, is casting doubts on its authenticity, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/scotland/2136221/Stone-of-Destiny-is-fake,-claims-Alex-Salmond.html
suggesting the stone could be a fake. While there are plenty more stones in Scotland it is saddening to think that the one true stone may be somewhere else. Some think it never left Scotland - that Edward was duped by a hastily arranged substitute.

But if the real stone - on which the kings of Scotland had been crowned for 400 years - was not the stone taken to Westminster Abbey and upon which the Kings and Queens of England were crowned for 700 years, we're still talking about a substantially historical stone.

Of course, if that Westminster stone was a fake and its theft something of a sham, then it should probably belong back in England. On second thoughts, perhaps not. It only causes trouble.

The stone will be allowed back in England (the clause in the agreement allows a maximum of five days) for the coronation of the next monarch. And who will that be, I wonder? Tradition insists it should be Charles. But he might well be in to his 70s if the Queen is as long lived as her mother. One thing is certain: William will not have to wait as long as his father.

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