Graphic shows the history of the Coronation Chair.
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MONARCHY

The 700-year-old chair being used in King’s coronation

By Ninian Carter

May 6, 2023 - St Edward’s Chair, the oldest dated piece of English furniture made by a known artist, has been used for the coronation of every monarch since the 14th century.

A gold leaf-gilded chair, known as the Coronation Chair, will form the centrepiece of the coronation of King Charles III in Westminster Abbey, on May 6, 2023.

The high-backed, Gothic-style armchair was carved from oak at some point between the summer of 1297 and March 1300 by skilled carpenter Walter of Durham.

Its purpose was to house the Stone of Scone, using it to form the chair’s seat, which King Edward I seized when he invaded Scotland in 1296. The Stone of Scone, also know as The Stone of Destiny, is an ancient sandstone seat once used in the coronations of Scottish monarchs at Scone Abbey in Perthshire.

Since the 14th century, all crowned English and British monarchs have been seated in the chair at the moment of coronation

Much of the chair is covered in graffiti from tourists and school pupils who visited the Abbey hundreds of years ago, with one scratched-in entry reading: “P. Abbott slept in this chair 5-6 July 1800”.

Although badly damaged from centuries of abuse, including a bomb attack attributed to the suffragettes, some beautiful decorations remain, including a portion of gilding that shows elaborate birds and foliage.

The chair was last used in the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, on June 2, 1953.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 30/03/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images, Newscom
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