Aung San Suu Kyi at Encaenia 2012

Each year on the Wednesday after the end of Trinity Term the Chancellor and dignitaries of the University of Oxford gather in the ceremony of Encaenia to award honorary degrees to a small number of worthy recipients. You can read about the history of the ceremony here. I went down to watch, not least because one of the people receiving an honorary degree was the Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

It’s a colourful ceremony as full academic dress is worn. The dignitaries, guests and honorands gather in one of the colleges – Exeter this year – for peaches, strawberries and champagne (thanks to a bequest from Lord Crewe) before walking in procession to the Sheldonian Theatre for the formalities and speeches.

There were plenty of people gathered at my vantage point where Brasenose Lane joins Radcliffe Square, with bigger crowds and TV crews in Broad Street. The woman in front of me had a birthday card for Aung San Suu Kyi and was delighted when Daw Suu accepted it personally. I took few photos of the procession and a short video without Aung San Suu Kyi unfortunately but showing the main part of the procession. The University’s account of the day is here.