English Charm – The Throne of Scone

English charm. I am working on a series about that family trip based on my charm bracelet. We started in Scotland, but I’ve already written about that. So, on to England.

This charm represents the throne on which English monarchs have been crowned since Edward I.
It’s a square cut, carved chair with a stone set under the seat. When I first saw it I thought it odd to crown a King sitting on a piece of rock. However, the “rock” is of symbolic importance: the Stone of Scone was used to crown Scottish monarchs. Edward I, with the picturesque moniker of Longshanks, stole it in 1296 and took it to Westminster as a symbol of his right to oversee the Scots.

In recent history, the throne has had a rough life. In 1910 a suffragette left her tnt-loaded purse hanging on the back of the chair where it exploded. (Understandably they wanted to vote – I can sympathize since those of us in DC can only vote for president. But I digress…) In 1950 it was stolen by some Scottish students, but eventually returned. (That escapade was made into a movie, “Stone of Destiny.”) In 1996, England sent it to Scotland and will only reclaim it for a coronation.

Let’s move on to scones of a different ilk: those you eat. While the family was in London, we wanted to have a typical British tea. We hadn’t eaten lunch and arrived ravenous at a hotel famous for the flamboyance of its tradition. The order was given. Tea was brought. Better than the tea, however, were the many little plates of “biscuits” and tarts and scones. We promptly ate everything in sight. On her return, waitress said, “Oh my.” We learned that a selection was placed before her customers, who usually ate one apiece. We greedy Americans had devoured the whole lot. Did we remember what she had brought? No! She counted the plates and charged us some sum. We were too happily sated to be embarrassed.

Sad that that on my first exposure to real castles and real museums, I remember the food. And the laughter. In recompense, I have been there many times since and have paid better attention.

Next we cross into the Netherlands for an adventure with a windmill and a VW bus…


  1. Thanks for the history lesson. I didn’t know any of this. You were so lucky to get your Grand Tour. I’m still waiting for mine 🙂

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