David Beatty, 2nd Earl Beatty

David Field Beatty, 2nd Earl Beatty, DSC, (22 February 1905 – 10 June 1972), styled Viscount Borodale from 1919 to 1936, was a British Conservative Party politician.


Beatty was a son of Admiral of the Fleet The 1st Earl Beatty and his wife Ethel, daughter of the American businessman Marshall Field. He gained the courtesy title of Viscount Borodale in 1919 when his father was created Earl Beatty. He had one brother, Peter Beatty.

Military careerEdit

Beatty was educated at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, on the Isle of Wight, and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. In 1919 he gained the rank of Midshipman in the service of the Royal Navy. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1928. He would later serve in the Leicestershire Yeomanry, part of the Territorial Army, and gained the rank of Lieutenant in 1933.

Beatty, holdin gthe rank of Lieutenant-Commander, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) in 1942.[1]

Political careerEdit

From 1931 to 1936 he was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Peckham. His half-brother Ronald Tree also sat in Parliament at this time, as member for Market Harborough, Leicestershire. During his time in parliament he held the office of Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty from 1931 until 1936. He succeeded as 2nd Earl Beatty on his father's death on 11 March 1936 when he moved to the House of Lords. He also served as a member of the London County Council in 1937. In 1945 he served as Under-Secretary of State for Air in the Caretaker Government after the Second World War.

Marriages and childrenEdit

Beatty was married four times. His first marriage was to Dorothy Rice Power on 21 April 1937, a younger sister of Thomas S. Power (later the USAF General in World War II to direct the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan). Beatty and Dorothy Rice Power who died in 1966 were divorced in 1945, whereupon he married Dorothy Rita Furey (1918-2006) on 7 February 1946. They in turn were divorced in 1950 having had one son David (born 1946). Between 1946 and 1950, she conducted an affair with Conservative Party leader Anthony Eden whilst he was separated from his wife. [2]

His third wife was Adelle Dillingham whom he married on 5 July 1951 and divorced in 1958 having had one daughter Diana (born 1952), who was the first wife of the 8th Viscount Gage. His fourth wife was Diane Kirk Blundell: she was one of the last generation of debutantes to be presented to the Queen, in 1958.[3] They married on 3 December 1959 and remained married until his death. From his fourth marriage he had a son Nicholas (born 1961), married to Laura Beatty, and a daughter Miranda (born 1963).


  1. ^ "No. 35729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1942. p. 4324.
  2. ^ The Mail on Sunday - Anthony Eden's Cleopatra; EXCLUSIVE:The beautiful American Countess, and her passionate affair with a Prime Minister-in-waiting.[permanent dead link], 26 January 1997
  3. ^ "High Society: Whatever happened to the last of the debs?". Independent.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Beckett
Member of Parliament for Peckham
Succeeded by
Lewis Silkin
Political offices
Preceded by
Quintin Hogg
Under-Secretary of State for Air
Succeeded by
John Strachey
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Beatty
Earl Beatty
Succeeded by
David Beatty