(2) The Stone of Destiny: cultural restitution
On 4 July 1996 the Prime Minister announced the return to Scotland of the Stone of Destiny (the Lia Fail). Scottish kings were inaugurated on this stone at Scone near Perth until 1296, when it was removed to Westminster by King Edward I of England. Since then it has remained under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, with the exception of a period in 1950-51 when it was removed from the Abbey by four young Scots. On 21 October 1996 it was announced that the returned Stone would be located alongside the Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle, although the possibility of a return to Scone once a “kingship centre” has been established there is not ruled out. The Stone returned to Scotland on 14 November 1996, re-crossing the border at Coldstream. Following a service at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, on 30 November 1996 (St Andrew’s Day), the safekeeping of the Stone was given to the Commissioners of the Regalia at the Castle by Prince Andrew.