THE cost of moving the Stone of Destiny to London for the King’s coronation was nearly £50,000, The National can reveal.

Scotland’s heritage agency – which is a public body – footed the bill for the operation to move the Stone from Edinburgh Castle to Westminster Abbey.

Details obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request show the cost to Historic Environment Scotland (HES) added up to £47, 132.

Anti-monarchy campaigners said it was "outrageous" that public money was being spent on moving a stone to London for an "archaic celebration of hereditary power". 

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The biggest spending was under category of “stone move”, which totalled £27,541 and included around £23,500 on accommodation.

Another £9451 was spent on overtime payments, while a total of £3315 covered the cost of materials.

This included £1335 on a cover for the Stone of Destiny plinth, with £211 on “kiln-dried American Ash lengths” for carrier handles for the Stone and £154 on brass padlocks.

Other items listed in the breakdown included £800 on labels and signage for the Stone of Destiny when off display, £887 on equipment, £2062 on PPE, £508 on transport and £752 on travel.

The National:

Graham Smith, chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic, said: “At a time when public services are stretched to breaking point, it is outrageous that public money is being spent on moving a stone to London for an archaic celebration of hereditary power. 

"That money should be spent on jobs and services. If Charles was determined to have a stone in Westminster Abbey he should be paying for it himself. Time and again he takes from the taxpayer and never volunteers to put anything back.

"The Scottish Government should send Charles the bill.”

Scottish Greens constitution and finance spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said: “The Stone of Destiny clearly played an important role in Scotland’s history, but using a magic rock to convey supposed legitimacy on some man’s claim to rule over the rest of us really should have been left in the past. 

"A pigeon poo covered plinth from Trafalgar Square would have done the - albeit ridiculous - job just as easily, and without the excessive cost or carbon emissions.”

The journey to London marked the first outing for the Stone since it was officially returned to Scotland by John Major in 1996.

It took place amid tight security, with a special ceremony held for its departure led by the Lord Lyon King of Arms – the monarch’s representative in Scotland – and attended by First Minister Humza Yousaf in his capacity of Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland and one of the commissioners for the safeguarding of the regalia.

A special bespoke transportation box was created to prevent the Stone – which is roughly 400 million-years-old - from being damaged.

READ MORE: The Stone of Destiny returns to Edinburgh Castle in secretive trip

It was placed in the Coronation Chair for the enthronement, before being returned to Scotland afterwards.

It had been estimated the total cost of the coronation would be around £100million, but the figures have not yet been published. 

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has refused to release information on total cost of the Coronation of King Charles and all associated events in response to an FOI request from The National.

Although it confirmed it does hold information, it said: “Whilst there may be an interest in early sight of this information, given the legitimate interest about transparency of public finances, there is also a strong public interest to ensure that publication of information relating to the Coronation takes place in accordance with proper procedures, including financial approvals, to ensure accuracy and consistency.

“The information you have requested is due to be published soon on”

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the Stone of Destiny costs.