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From 1975 to 1977, he was British Ambassador to Luxembourg. Head of the Diplomatic Service (Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office) between 1982 and 1986, Acland was then Ambassador to Washington (United States) from 1986 to 1991 under Margaret Thatcher. He was created Provost of Eton College in 1991 and retired in 2000.
Acland was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute, helping to raise funds for the Institute's building and library.
He became a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1986, a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1991 and a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 2001. He became Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1994.
He has been married twice; first in 1956 and again in 1987, his first wife having died in 1984. He has two sons and a daughter by his first marriage.
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