History of the Royal Hospital Chelsea

The story of today’s Royal Hospital Chelsea begins over 300 years ago during the reign of King Charles II, whose vision for a home for veteran soldiers was brought to life by Sir Christopher Wren.

But it’s not just the buildings that have survived into modern times. King Charles II’s understanding that the country owes a debt of gratitude to its old soldiers informs the spirit of the Royal Hospital today. The residents of the Royal Hospital, known the world over as Chelsea Pensioners, have all served as ordinary soldiers in the Armed Forces at some point in their lives, and now, in their later years, find a warm welcome amidst the camaraderie and banter of their fellow veterans.

History of the Chelsea Pensioners

Royal Hospital Chelsea Newsletter

Stay up to date with what's going on at The Royal Hospital by signing up for our e‑newsletter.

News

View the archive

Chelsea Pensioners celebrate Liberation Day on the Channel Islands

Every year the Chelsea Pensioners are welcome guests on the Channel Islands, for a celebration of history, Liberation and reconciliation.

London Marathon pair cheered on by Chelsea Pensioner

Chelsea Pensioner and London Marathon veteran Fred shared his advice with charity duo.

Twitter

Follow @RHChelsea