Nicholas Eden, 2nd Earl of Avon, styled Viscount Eden between 1961 and 1977, was a British Conservative politician and younger son of Prime Minister Anthony Eden and his first wife, Beatrice Helen (née Beckett). He was named after his father's younger brother, Nicholas, who was killed when the battlecruiser HMS Indefatigable blew up and sank at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 during WWI.
Eden succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father in 1977, his elder brother Pilot Officer Simon Gascoigne Eden having been killed in action in June 1945, while serving as a navigator with the RAF in Burma.
Lord Avon served under Margaret Thatcher as a Lord-in-Waiting from 1980 to 1983, as Under-Secretary of State for Energy from 1983 to 1984 and as Under-Secretary of State for the Environment from 1984 until shortly before his death from complications related to AIDS the following year at the age of 54. Widely known to have been homosexual, Lord Avon was unmarried and his titles died with him. The character of Peter Morton in the film Peter's Friends is loosely inspired by him.
Styles of address:
1930-1961: Mr Nicholas Eden
1961-1977: Viscount Eden
1977-1985: The Right Honourable The Earl of Avon