The Coronation Chair

The Coronation Chair in St George’s Chapel is one of the most precious and famous pieces of furniture in the world and has been the centrepiece of coronations for over 700 years.

coronation chair stone scone

Origins and decoration

The Coronation Chair was made by order of Edward I to enclose the famous Stone of Scone, which he brought from Scotland to the Abbey in 1296, where he placed it in the care of the Abbot of Westminster. The King had a magnificent oaken chair made to contain the Stone in 1300-1301, painted by Master Walter and decorated with patterns of birds, foliage and animals on a gilt ground. The figure of a king, either Edward the Confessor or Edward I, his feet resting on a lion, was painted on the back. The four gilt lions were made in 1727 to replace the originals, which were themselves not added to the Chair until the early 16th century. The Stone was originally totally enclosed under the seat but over the centuries the wooden decoration had been torn away from the front.

the coronation king edward


The ancient Chair was taken out of the Abbey when Oliver Cromwell was installed upon it as Lord Protector in Westminster Hall. It was used by Queen Victoria at the 1887 Golden Jubilee Services in the Abbey. During the Second World War the Chair was evacuated to Gloucester Cathedral and the Stone was secretly buried in the Abbey.

Graffiti and Damage

Most of the graffiti on the back part of the Chair is the result of Westminster schoolboys and visitors carving their names in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the tourists carved “P. Abbott slept in this chair 5-6 July 1800” on the seat! A bomb attack in 1914 thought to be organised by the Suffragettes even knocked a small corner off it.

Coronation of King Charles III

The coronation of King Charles III will take place at Westminster Abbey this Saturday, 6th May with the ceremony starting at 11am. It will incorporate all the many centuries of tradition that have gone before. We hope that you enjoy the day.

Coronation Red Blue