LONDON, July 23 (Xinhua) — Boris Johnson was elected leader of the ruling Conservative party on Tuesday and is set to become the country’s prime minister.
Three years after abandoning his ambition to become the British prime minister, he will move into London’s most famous address 10 Downing Street soon.
He could have won after ex-prime minister David Cameron resigned just hours after the British people sent shockwaves around the world by voting against all expectations in June 2016 to leave the European Union.
Johnson assumes the task of steering Britain through the stormy waters of Brexit with his pledge to bring Britain out of the bloc by Oct. 31. Nobody will ever know if he would have succeeded three years ago as prime minister had he entered the leadership race then, and won.
Johnson was born in 1964 in New York City to wealthy upper middle-class British parents. His birth was registered with both the U.S. authorities and the British Consulate in New York which meant that he was granted both American and British citizenships.
As a child, Johnson dreamed of one day becoming “king of the world.” He was educated at the famous Eton College, he would later read classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he could practice his oratory skills as president of the Oxford Union.
His first stint in the House of Commons saw him representing Henley, the place on the Thames famed for its annual regatta, a rowing event started on London’s most famous river 180 years ago.
Johnson left Parliament in 2008 and started two terms as mayor of London, returning to the Commons in 2015 as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, counting Heathrow Airport within his constituency.
Between 2016 and 2018, he served as Foreign Secretary in his old boss Theresa May’s cabinet, later resigning over the Brexit deal she brokered with Brussels.
It was a deal that the House of Commons rejected three times, once by the biggest margin in British political history.
In a profile in the Sunday Times over the weekend, the newspaper posed the question: What is it precisely that has produced The Man Who Would Be World King? The answer was a combination of a chaotic childhood, big brains and the best education money can buy on a budget.
Written by Harry Mount, author of “The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson,” the article told how Boris’s childhood, like those of his siblings, was supercharged for success.
Mount said a crucial ingredient in Boris’s success story was that he came from a family that had just about enough money to get along, but not enough to easily pay for school fees or for Boris not to work.
“While many of Boris’s contemporaries at Eton and Oxford, such as Charles Spencer, brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, could float along on inheritances and trust-fund cushions, Boris had to get scholarships and earn a living as soon as he left Balliol,” said Mount.
The young Johnson went to Eton College, thanks to an endowment made by King Henry VI in 1440. It meant his fees were paid as one of 70 “poor boys” among the intake.
Boris is the great-grandson of a Turkish Muslim, and brother to Jo Johnson who is also an MP in the current parliament.
With his childhood dream fulfilled, Johnson will now find out whether his ambitions have been worth the long wait.