|University Unveils 2013 May Monarch|
23 year old Psychology student will be installed on 18th May
Sara Marr-Phillips, a first year Psychology student, has been named as the 132nd May Monarch at Whitelands College, University of Roehampton. She will be installed in office at the annual Whitelands May Day Festival which will be held on Saturday 18 May.
The May Day Festival and the installation of a monarch is a tradition that dates back to 1881, when the Victorian philanthropist and art critic John Ruskin, friend of the then College Principal, the Reverend John Faunthorpe, bade the women students to elect ‘the likeablest and the loveablest' of their number to be their May Queen. The tradition continued unchanged until 1986, when it was opened up to include male students and renamed “May Monarch”.
The day serves as reunion for many former students of Whitelands College. One of the highlights of the festival is a procession of former May Monarchs, often wearing their original outfits. This year it is anticipated that forty former May Monarchs will attend, the oldest was crowned in 1953. The festival will also feature drum majorettes drawn from the local community, as well as a lecture for a Ruskin scholar.
Gilly King, History and Heritage Promotion Manager at the University said: