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13 Jun 2007

Ma'am to the Rescue - On Wednesday 13 June 2007, Fraser made his way to Buckingham Palace for an investiture accompanied by his two daughters, Fiona (McCubbin) and Alison Stoddart, and David Leigh, a former group member from the Sheffield days and now the Forbes Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Here is Fraser's recollection of his meeting with The Queen

Lord Chamberlain: "May I present to Your Majesty, Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, for Services to Chemistry and Molecular Nanotology" (The last word is not misspelt)

THE CEREMONY

Her Majesty: "He got that wrong didn't he ?"

Sir Fraser: "He certainly did, Your Majesty."

Her Majesty: "What should it be then, nanotechnology ?"

Sir Fraser: "You've got it right, Ma'am."

Her Majesty: "It's about very small things, isn't it ?"

Sir Fraser: "Indeed, it's about tiny things that are 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, Ma'am."

Her Majesty: "That's exceedingly small. You work in America now, I'm told."

Sir Fraser: "That's so, Ma'am."

At this point, she extends her right hand, and I mine for she leaves me with no choice. A strong handshake is followed by a big approving smile from Her Majesty, and I am on my merry way a brand new Knight Bachelor.

 

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