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A prominent Malaysian Royal has received an honorary degree from Heriot-Watt University.

His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj received the award at the University’s graduation ceremony in Putrajaya on Sunday 15 July.

The HRH witnessed more than 200 students receive their degrees in a range of subjects.

Professor Richard Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor said:  “His Royal Highness is a towering figure who has always championed the human potential and higher education, and personifies the pioneering spirit. The degree recognises HRH’s inspiring role as a world-class leader, as an administrator, sportsman and in the military.”

Born in 1945, His Royal Highness is the ninth and current Sultan of Malaysian state of Selangor and ascended the throne in 2001, succeeding his father, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.

The HRH is known for being adventurous, having circumnavigated the world and scaled Mount Kinabalu at 30. 

Prior to becoming Sultan, Sharafuddin was an avid sailor. In 1995, he circumnavigated his yacht, SY Jugra, around the world. The journey took 22 months. The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, a major annual sailing event, is named after him.

His Royal Highness has also taken part in rallies and long distance car races. He joined and completed the 1997 Peking to Paris Motorm covering 16,000 km in 43 days, winning the silver medal in the vintage car category. In 1986, he drove from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching, covering 1,111 km in two days.