MANY months before it is likely to happen, the Coronation of King Charles III is already causing some questions to be asked.

As one reader wrote to me: “Will he dare to sit on the Stone of Destiny?” He also asked: “Should Charles not have a separate coronation in Scotland?”

There’s a whole host of other questions that spring to mind, such as whether Charles should revive the ancient title King of Scots, and whether he and Camilla should establish a formal presence, a court, in Scotland, and should she be the Duchess of Edinburgh – don’t forget Charles inherited the Dukedom on the death of his father but it has now merged into the Crown after his accession to the throne.

Remember, too, that Prince Edward was promised on his wedding day in 1999 that he would become Duke of Edinburgh on his father’s death. That never happened, but I suspect that King Charles will keep that promise sooner rather than later and Edward will be promoted from Earl of Wessex to Duke of Edinburgh which would make Sophie his duchess.

Does it all matter, I hear you say, and for a goodly number of Sunday National readers I suspect it matters not a jot. Yet as someone fascinated by history and Scotland’s place in the Union the questions are worth examining. I have also researched the history of the last man named Charles to actually sit on the throne, King Charles II.

The Stone of Destiny issue would appear straightforward, but it is not. For a start, is it the original Stone or a fake quickly made by monks at Scone in 1298 or by nationalist stonemason Bertie Gray after it was famously taken by four students at Christmas 1950?

For argument’s sake, let’s just say that the Stone of Destiny as displayed in Edinburgh Castle is the real original stone as removed south by Edward Longshanks, but there has to be considerable doubt that it is Jacob’s Pillow or the ancient stone brought from Ireland by the Scots who made their home in Dalriada. It was long known to the Scots and their Kings as the Stone of Scone, and this is where Charles III will have a problem. For the Stone of Scone was, and is, a symbol of Scottish nationhood, the artefact on which generations of Scottish monarchs sat to receive their crowning moment.

Under the terms of the repatriation of the Stone by John Major’s Government, the Stone must be taken to London for the Coronation. We do not know what part the Stone will play, but presumably it will be re-inserted into the throne upon which Charles will be crowned, exactly where it was located for the late Queen’s coronation in 1953. It is, after all, a tradition that goes back to the 14th century, and every English and British monarch since has been crowned that way.

Times have changed massively, however, since the last Coronation, and King Charles III and his advisers, both courtiers, historians and politicians, will have to think long and hard about the historic symbolism of the new king being crowned with the Stone of Scone under his backside. I can see The National’s headline now – “Scotland subjugated again”.

I suspect Charles will be alive to this problem and find a solution that doesn’t involve an insult to Scotland, but it’s an issue I will certainly be raising again.

The speculation is that the Honours of Scotland, the ancient Crown Jewels of this nation, will be used in some way either at the Coronation in Westminster Abbey or at a separate ceremony in St Giles shortly after the Coronation in London, as happened with the late Queen.

The National Records of Scotland states on its website: “Shortly after her Coronation at Westminster Abbey, the Queen spent a week in Scotland and attended a National Service of thanksgiving and dedication at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, on 24 June 1953. Cheering crowds witnessed a magnificent procession accompanying the royal carriage bearing the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to St Giles.

“There the Honours of Scotland, the Crown, Sceptre and Sword, were ceremonially presented to the sovereign, witnessed by 1700 worshippers from all walks of Scottish life, and seen live on television. The Moderator of the General Assembly captured the moment: ‘Today you and I are Scotland, greeting with all that we have to offer of love and duty our gracious young Queen’.”

I suspect that ceremony will be repeated again, but it will not be a Scottish coronation as such. The last person that happened to was the current king’s ancestor Charles II who contrived to have two coronations. After his father Charles I was executed by Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentarians in 1649, Charles II was invited to Scotland by the Covenanter government of the time, and after he agreed to their demands that Presbyterianism become the state religion, Charles was proclaimed King by the Scottish Parliament. On January 1, 1651, despite the Scottish forces being routed the previous September at the Battle of Dunbar by Cromwell’s new Model Army, Charles was crowned at Scone.

Cromwell went on to conquer Scotland and installed General George Monck as Governor. After the Scots lost the Battle of Worcester, Charles II fled to the Continent, returning only when Monck arranged the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Charles’s reign had been cancelled by Cromwell in 1652 and the Lord Protector absorbed Scotland into his English Commonwealth, a republic by any other name.

After the Restoration, Charles II was crowned King of England on April 23, 1661 – St George’s Day – his second coronation being recorded in detail by an eyewitness, Samuel Pepys.

His reign as the Merry Monarch began promisingly but deteriorated with the numerous internecine battles between the various religious and political factions. He never went back to Scotland.