Royal family members attend memorial service
Experienced superyacht owner, Sir Donald Gosling, is understood to have left a sum of £50m in his will to help pay for a new UK royal yacht.
As the former owner of the 75m (246ft) Leander G, businessman and a former senior Royal Navy officer, Sir Donald Gosling died in September aged 90. A thanksgiving service for his life was attended by a number of UK Royal family members including the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, held at Westminster Abbey.
Gosling was the founder of National Car Park (NCP), a major multi-million pound business. The Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned in 1997 and it is currently a tourist attraction berthed in the port of Leith just outside Edinburgh.
Gosling, who reached the rank of Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy, had a life-long love of the sea and passion for yachting. After naval service during World War 11, he trained as a surveyor but soon after acquired his first yacht which was a three-metre boat with an inboard moto, based on the Thames.
Following success in his business life, in 1953 he moved up a notch and took on the 1935 built Elizabeth Gertrude that was originally constructed for Lord Rothschild. Seven years later he built his first custom vessel, the 22.9m Silver Goose. In 1972 this was followed by the 35m Brave Goose which was built on the Thames at Teddington by the Toughs shipyard.
This same yard built a second and larger (41.7m) Brave Goose delivered in 1986 and also around this time he purchased the 48.8m Katalina which was based in the Caribbean. Having two yachts proved too much so he sold both but subsequently, in 1988, bought the 49.35m Edenforth.
Two years later Gosling visited a German shipyard with broker, Peter Insull, and he saw a 2,000 tonne yacht in build which he acquired and customised to his own needs. This was launched as the Leander G in 1993 and she lasted until 2016 when she was sold.
Gosling worked with a number of naval charities including the White Ensign Association, and in 1992 he founded the Gosling Foundation. This organisation gives help to naval and military personnel as well as the police.