Major Sir Michael Parker KCVO, CBE – died November 28, 2022, aged 81
Major Sir Michael Parker, who died on November 28th 2022, has been remembered in the press as the wonderfully charismatic producer of spectacular royal and national events and pageants, including the Royal Military Tattoo and HM The Queen Mother’s birthday pageant in 2000.
Described in his obituary in The Times as ‘pageant master extraordinaire, pyromaniac and ‘accidental showman’’, Sir Michael was also a vital part of The Not Forgotten story.
When he stepped into the life of our charity as our Honorary Entertainments Officer, he took our entertainment to the next level, producing and directing our Summer and Christmas Party entertainments with flair and imagination over many years.
Counting stars of stage and screen amongst his friends, he was able to arrange for leading entertainers to take part including such famous names as Norman Wisdom, Tommy Steel and Cilla Black. During one performance by the then very well-known comedian Tommy Trinder, a message was delivered from the Palace to say that his humour was not appreciated… Michael did not invite him to perform again!
For our 90th anniversary Sir Michael organised an amazing evening of entertainment in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace, a spectacular event many will hold in in their memory forever. Even after retiring as Entertainments Officer, he continued to take an active interest in our activities, and often used to call the office or email just to wish us the very best for our Garden and Christmas Parties.
Sir Michael was always a pleasure to meet: charming, charismatic and always happy to be involved with The Not Forgotten team and the veterans we support. He loved regaling us with stories of events he organised for The Royal Family and what went on behind the scenes which made everyone laugh.
He was a truly lovely, gentle man with a kind heart.
Sir Michael’s Thanksgiving Service will be held at The Guards’ Chapel (SW1E 6HQ) on Tuesday 18th April at 2pm, and the Retiring Collection will be split equally between The Guards’ Chapel and The Not Forgotten. The family welcome anyone who would like to attend.