Antony Acland

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This article is about the diplomat. For the British Army Officer, see Antony Guy Acland.
Sir Antony Acland
KG GCMG GCVO
Sir Antony Acland.jpg
Sir Antony Acland in the robes of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter
UK Ambassador to the United States
In office
1986–1991
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded by Sir Oliver Wright
Succeeded by Sir Robin Renwick
Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
1982–1986
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Sir Michael Palliser
Succeeded by The Lord Wright of Richmond
UK Ambassador to Spain
In office
1977–1980
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister James Callaghan
Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Sir Charles Wiggin
Succeeded by Sir Richard Parsons
9th UK Ambassador to Luxembourg
In office
1975–1977
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded by John Roper
Succeeded by The Lord Wright of Richmond
Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
In office
1972–1975
Preceded by John Graham
Succeeded by Stephen Barrett
Personal details
Born Anthony Arthur Acland
(1930-03-12) March 12, 1930 (age 86)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Clare Anne Verdon (1956-1984)
Jennifer McGougan (1987)
Education Eton College
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Awards Knight of the Order of the Garter (2001)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (1986)
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (1991)

Sir Antony Arthur Acland KG GCMG GCVO (born 12 March 1930) is a British former diplomat and Provost of Eton College.

Early life[edit]

Antony Acland is the second son of Brigadier Peter Acland. He was educated at Eton College, then in 1948 joined the Royal Artillery with a post-war "emergency commission".[1] After short army service he went up to Christ Church, Oxford, gaining a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1953 (later upgraded to MA). After leaving Oxford in 1953 he went straight into the Foreign Office (FO).[2]

Career[edit]

After studying at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies, Acland was posted to Dubai and then Kuwait, then back to the FO as Assistant Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary (Selwyn Lloyd, then Lord Home) 1959–62. He then served at the UK Mission to the UN, first in New York 1962–66, then at Geneva 1966–68. Back at the FCO he was head of the Arabian department 1970–72.

Acland was Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary (Sir Alec Douglas-Home, then James Callaghan) 1972–75. He was Ambassador to Luxembourg 1975–77[3] and to Spain 1977–79. He was Deputy Under-Secretary at the FCO 1979–82, a post which then entailed chairing the Joint Intelligence Committee. In 1982 he was promoted to Permanent Under-Secretary and head of the Diplomatic Service. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982 and Acland came into collision with the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, over the diplomatic response. At one point during a heated discusion he threatened to resign, whereupon Thatcher backed down and said 'All right, no more Foreign Office bashing.'[4]

Acland was Ambassador to the United States at Washington, D.C., 1986–91, then retired from the Diplomatic Service and was Provost of Eton College 1991–2000.[5]

Acland was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford, helping to raise funds for the Institute's building and library.[6]

Honours[edit]

Acland was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1976 New Year Honours[7] and made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in November of that year after Queen Elizabeth's state visit to Luxembourg,[8] after which he was styled "Sir Anthony Acland". He was given the additional knighthood of Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1982 Birthday Honours[9] and promoted to Knight Grand Cross of that same order in the 1986 Birthday Honours[10] and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1991 Birthday Honours.[11] He was Chancellor of the between 1994 and 2005.[12] In 2001 he was given the rare honour of appointment as a Knight of the Order of the Garter.[13]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • Antony Acland 1930-1976
  • Antony Acland CMG January-November 1976
  • Sir Antony Acland KCVO CMG November 1976-1982
  • Sir Antony Acland KCMG KCVO 1982-1986
  • Sir Antony Acland GCMG KCVO 1986-1991
  • Sir Antony Acland GCMG GCVO 1991-2001
  • Sir Antony Acland KG GCMG GCVO 2001-present

Personal life[edit]

In 1956 Acland married Clare Anne Verdon; they had two sons and a daughter. She died in 1984 and in 1987 he married Jennifer McGougan.

Ancestry[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38520. p. 442. 25 January 1949.
  2. ^ BDOHP interview, p.2
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46681. p. 11464. 11 September 1975.
  4. ^ BDOHP interview, p.33
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52592. p. 10098. 2 July 1991.
  6. ^ Founding Council, Rothermere American Institute
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46777. p. 4. 30 December 1975.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47074. p. 15755. 23 November 1976.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49008. p. 4. 12 June 1982.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50551. p. 3. 14 June 1986.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52557. p. 8957. 11 June 1991.
  12. ^ "Court Circular". Independent. 10 June 1994. 
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56183. p. 4839. 23 April 2001.
  14. ^ Anthony Acland's banner of arms image, Heraldic Sculptor. Retrieved 20 December 2013
  15. ^ Banner image. St George-Windsor. Retrieved 20 December 2013
  16. ^ Anthony Acland's crest image. Retrieved 20 December 2013


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Graham
Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
1972–1975
Succeeded by
Stephen Barrett
Preceded by
John Roper
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
1975–1977
Succeeded by
Patrick Wright
Preceded by
Sir Charles Wiggin
Ambassador to Spain
1977–1980
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Parsons
Preceded by
Sir Michael Palliser
Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1982–1986
Succeeded by
Sir Patrick Wright
Preceded by
Sir Oliver Wright
Ambassador to the United States
1986–1991
Succeeded by
Sir Robin Renwick
Academic offices
Preceded by
Lord Charteris of Amisfield
Provost of Eton
1991–2000
Succeeded by
Sir Eric Anderson
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir William Gladstone, Bt
as a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter
Gentlemen
as a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter
Succeeded by
Sir John Major
as a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter