A SHEFFIELD-born scientist found himself thrust into the royal spotlight when he travelled to Thailand.
Professor Stephen Nortcliff, aged 64, travelled to Bangkok to present the King of Thailand with an award marking his contribution to soil science – the IUSS Humanitarian Soil Scientist Medal.
The former King Edward VII pupil was asked to present the medal to King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The visit was given national attention when the elderly king made a rare public appearance after an extended period of ill health. He is the longest-serving head of state in the world, having taken the throne in 1946.
Professor Nortcliff said: “I read a citation to the king and then went forward and on my knees presented him with the medal. The king asked me to get up, shook my hand then asked me to sit next to him.”