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