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Patty Vengeance is re­ally into Mary, Queen of Scots: “She’s seen as this fem­i­nist icon. For me, though, it’s more that she’s re­lat­able – as a strong woman and a sur­vivor.”

The 29-year-old writer and mu­si­cian, who fronts the riot gr­rrl band Fisty­muffs, is stand­ing by the edge of the wa­ter in Leith, where, ac­cord­ing to a plaque set into the quay­side, Mary ar­rived from France in the haar-veiled early morn­ing of 19 Au­gust 1561. The wid­owed teenager – tall, red-haired, an un­earthly beauty – was the anointed ruler of Scot­land, and she had come home.

“She was a tragic fig­ure,” says Patty, who lives in this in­creas­ingly hip­ster­ish dis­trict of Ed­in­burgh. “But she was de­ter­mined and re­silient. I ad­mire her very much.”

How ex­tra­or­di­nary that the life and death of this 16th-cen­tury queen con­tin­ues to speak to us, per­haps to women in par­tic­u­lar, in the 21st cen­tury.

A forth­com­ing film, Mary Queen of Scots, stars Saoirse Ro­nan as Mary and Mar­got Rob­bie as Queen Elizabeth, who in 1587 or­dered the ex­e­cu­tion of her cousin and ri­val for the English throne. The film is likely to reignite in­ter­est in the many cas­tles and other lo­ca­tions as­so­ci­ated with her dra­matic reign, and has prompted His­toric En­vi­ron­ment

Bat­tle royale The Lang­side mon­u­ment in Glas­gow

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