Women graduates normally wear a black skirt and black shoes at Cambridge graduation ceremonies. But the 53-year-old New Zealander bucked the trend by choosing the trousers and matching shoes to collect her Doctor of Music degree. A university spokeswoman, however, said the rules were more relaxed when honorary degrees were presented. Dame Kiri was awarded her degree for services to music.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the soprano, struck a note of discord when she donned a beige trouser suit to collect an honorary Cambridge University degree from the Duke of Edinburgh yesterday.