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)
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.