AS SEEN IN:
'Edward & Mrs. Simpson'
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Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC (12 June 1897 – 14 January 1977) was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957. He was also Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including during World War II.
Eden's worldwide reputation as an opponent of appeasement, a 'Man of Peace', and a skilled diplomat was overshadowed in the second year of his premiership by his handling of the Suez Crisis of 1956, which critics across party lines regarded as a historic setback for British foreign policy, signalling the end of British predominance in the Middle East.
In the post-war years, Eden was a protagonist of the change in British policy on war criminal trials, which was perhaps best symbolised by his signature under the pardon conceded to the German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring on 24 October 1952.
He is generally ranked among the least successful British Prime Ministers of the twentieth century, although two broadly sympathetic biographies (in 1986 and 2003) have gone some way to redressing the balance of opinion.