When discussing about British prominent political figure, it is hard not to include Anthony Eden. He was especially known for his involvement in Suez Canal Crisis. His decision related to that particular issue was considered controversial.
Eden’s area of expertise revolved around foreign affairs. He contributed a lot for his country in its foreign policy matters. This article will be discussing about the politician’s life since his earliest day.
The Politician’s Early Life
The politician was born near Rushyford in County Durham on June 12th, 1897. He was the second son of Sir William Eden. The family had high social standing due to landed gentry.
During his childhood, he would spend holidays abroad. Because of that, he gained proficiency in German and French. He was able to converse with people in those languages fluently.
All Eden brothers joined British army in their youth. The politician lost his older and younger brothers due to war. He served the army from 1915 to 1939 with the highest rank as major.
Coming from aristocrat family, he was able to enjoy high quality education. Eden started attending the prestigious Eton College since he was 14 year old. He joined sport teams in his time there.
Eden latter went to Christ Church College at University of Oxford. He studied Persian as his main major with secondary interest in Arabic. During college, he developed interest in arts.
Anthony Eden was an especially gifted student in foreign languages during his time at school. His interest in politics did not come until he was in his late teen.
The Political Career Growth
Eden joined Conservative and Unionist Party in 1922. At that time, he was appointed to oppose Spennymoor. He became interested in foreign related affairs during this period.
Although his party did not succeed during his early political involvement, Conservative Party began to rise again in 1924. His disappointment over lack of position made him travel abroad to Middle East.
Soon after his return, he had more chances to prove his knowledge on foreign affairs. He was not successful in General Election but became favorite candidate for ministerial post at Foreign Office.
Life as British Prime Minister
Eden rose to position as Foreign Secretary during difficult period as fascism began to spread around Europe. As war veteran, he utilized antiwar approach to conduct Britain’s foreign policies.
He worked on and off as Foreign Secretary. His political activities made him popular political figure, though. In 1955, he resumed position as Prime Minister, replacing Winston Churchill.
His biggest downfall was related to Suez Canal issue. Anthony Eden opposed to Egypt’s nationalization of the canal. Britain joined forces with Israel and France to attack Egypt but received criticism and sanction threats.
Eden’s Personal Affairs
Eden married Beatrice Beckett (who was eighteen) in 1923. The couple had three sons together, one passed away shortly after birth while another one in an accident. His first marriage ultimately ended in 1950.
In 1952, he remarried with Clarissa Spencer-Churchill who was Winston Churchill’s niece. The marriage lasted until Eden’s death in 1977. The couple did not have any child together.
Anthony Eden developed ulcer since his teenage years. This condition, coupled by stresses from his demanding job created bigger health problem. Suez problem made his health further deteriorated.