The University of St Andrews has a lively array of traditions, from Raisin Monday (can't possibly explain in a few words) to May Dip (students run in to the freezing North Sea at dawn on May Day). Courtesy of a resident source, here's another tradition - the Kate Kennedy procession. Students in the procession portray characters from the University's 600 year history, including Robert the Bruce, John Cleese, Mary Queen of Scots and Rudyard Kipling. Kate Kennedy herself was apparently the niece of Bishop Kennedy, the founder of the University's St Salvator's College. The character of Kate is played each year by a first year male student.
It was the end of a long working week during which I had written goodness knows how many thousand words when I wrote this post, and my brain rather ran out of words at this point. So this paragraph is an update to the original, to mention that the university's Kate Kennedy Club, which stages the procession, originally only accepted male members. The club is a mixture of charitable good works and highly selective entry processes. Prince William was a member when he was at St Andrews. When the first female Principal of the university, Louise Richardson, arrived in 2009, she withdrew university support for the club because it excluded students on gender grounds. By 2012 the club had abandoned its men-only policy. The Principal has been involved in another gender issue: the university's Principal is traditionally made an honorary member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews. However because she is a woman the Club refused to extend membership to Professor Richardson. Recently the Club voted to admit female members, but Professor Richardson was not among the first 15 women admitted. Small minds. Gie them laldie, Louise!
Back to the now calmer waters of the procession. Horses are involved.
As are bishops.
I wish I could tell you who these characters are. A rich mixture.
And of course when there are horses involved there is always the moment when someone doesn't look where they're stepping.