Three in court after Stone of Destiny targeted in Edinburgh Castle protest

Three people have appeared in court after the glass protecting the Stone of Destiny at Edinburgh Castle was smashed during a protest.

The suspects were charged after the stone - an ancient symbol of Scotland's monarchy, used for centuries in the inauguration of its kings, including King Charles III - was targeted in a protest against food poverty.

The Crown Room and Royal Apartments at the castle have been closed since the incident, which happened just before 11am on Wednesday.

The protective glass housing the 125kg Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, was damaged, according to Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

Joe Madden, 21, 25-year-old Jamie Priest and Catriona Roberts, 21, were charged with breach of the peace and malicious mischief when they appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.

All three, from Glasgow, did not enter a plea at the hearing.

They were committed for further examination and released on bail.

The Stone of Scotland is kept inside a case which includes the Crown of Scotland and other regalia, which are referred to as the Honours of Scotland.

The casing was not broken and the honours themselves were unscathed.

In a statement on Wednesday following the incident, protest group This Is Rigged claimed responsibility and demanded action on the cost of living crisis.

The group posted on X, formerly Twitter: "Edinburgh Castle shut down as This Is Rigged target the Stone of Destiny."

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They said they have two new demands - that supermarkets reduce the price of baby formula back to 2021 prices, and that the Scottish government fully funds a community food hub per every 500 households - providing three meals a day to anyone who needs them.

They added: "Food is a human right. Hunger is a political choice. The times we live in are defined by crisis, by instability, by greed."

This Is Rigged said the protest echoed the history of the Stone of Destiny - which was repatriated from Westminster Abbey to Scotland by a group of University of Glasgow students 700 years after it was stolen in the Wars of Independence.