Donald Gosling

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Sir Frederick Donald Gosling
Born (1929-03-02) 2 March 1929 (age 89)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Naval Reserve
Years of service1944–
RankVice Admiral (Honorary)
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsKnight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Knight Bachelor
Knight of the Order of St John
Grand Cross of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia

Vice Admiral Sir Frederick Donald Gosling KCVO (born 2 March 1929) is a former Chairman of National Car Parks and benefactor to naval charities.

Business career[edit]

Gosling joined the Royal Navy in 1944 during World War II and served in the Mediterranean in the cruiser HMS Leander.[1] After the War, together with Ronald Hobson, he founded Central Car Parks, when the pair invested £200 in a bombsite in Holborn, central London to create a car park.[2] In 1959 Central Car Parks took over National Car Parks from Anne Lucas, the widow of Colonel Frederick Lucas.[3] Gosling co-chaired the business until he retired in 1998.[1]


Gosling became a trustee of the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton in 1974 and Vice-President of Seafarers UK in 1993.[1] He was appointed honorary Captain of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) by the Queen in January 1993; he has subsequently been promoted to Commodore and then to honorary Rear Admiral of the Reserve.[4] He also has a long association with the White Ensign Association, serving as Chairman from 1979 to 1983, Vice President from 1983 to 1987 and then as President on the council of management under the patron, The Prince of Wales.[5] In April 2012, he became Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom, an honorific position sub-ordinate to the Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom, the Duke of Edinburgh.[6]

Gosling was knighted in the 1976 Resignation Honours List[7] and appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Outward Bound Trust.[8]

His interests including yachting and he owned the motor yacht Leander G until she was sold in February 2016.[9][10]

Royal Naval Reserve ranks[edit]

  • 27 January 1993 – May 2005: Captain (Honorary)[11]
  • 31 May 2005 – March 2009: Commodore (Honorary)[12]
  • 2 March 2009 – 2 April 2015: Rear Admiral (Honorary)[13]
  • 2 April 2015 – present: Vice Admiral (Honorary)[14]

Family and personal life[edit]

In 1959 he married Elizabeth Shauna Ingram; together they had three sons before their marriage was dissolved in 1988.[1] His partner is Gabriella di Nora, head of personal shopping at Selfridges.[15] The couple were guests at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and in the royal box at the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee concert.[16]

Honours and awards[edit]

Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) 2004[8]
Knight-Bachelor.ribbon.png Knight Bachelor 1976[7]
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Knight of the Order of St John
War Medal 1939–1945 (UK) ribbon.png War Medal 1939–1945
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
Ribbon - Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal v3.png Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 2017
Grand Cross - Order of the Eagle of Georgia.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia (Georgia) 2016[17]


  1. ^ a b c d Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-408-11414-8
  2. ^ "Support Servies". Retrieved 2016-11-21. (subscription required)
  3. ^ "BUSINESS | Millions for car park entrepreneurs". BBC News. 1998-03-24. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  4. ^ Sir Donald Gosling authorised biography[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Council The White Ensign Archived 27 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Windsor Castle Court Circular, 23 April 2012
  7. ^ a b The Times, Thursday, May 27, 1976; pg. 2; Issue 59714; col B: "Sir Harold's resignation honours list in full"
  8. ^ a b New Year Honours List The Independent, 31 December 2003
  9. ^ No Royal Yacht? You'd better borrow mine for Jubilee year, Your Majesty, says car parking tycoon, Daily Mail, 24 July 2011
  10. ^ Gosling, Donald. "Sir Donald Gosling's superyacht memories". Boat International. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  11. ^ "No. 53227". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 February 1993. p. 3311.
  12. ^ "No. 57693". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 July 2005. p. 8688.
  13. ^ "No. 59029". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 April 2009. p. 5961.
  14. ^ The Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2015, p.28.
  15. ^ The Transylvanian count, the Nazi's nephew and the Kazakh tycoon: The colourful guests Charles has invited to the Palace, Daily Mail, 9 April 2011
  16. ^ A handful of princesses, a smattering of knights and a cook: The Who's Who of the Royal Box at the Diamond Jubilee Concert, Daily Mail, 5 June 2012
  17. ^ "NEWS". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir George Zambellas
Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by