Gurkha 200 Pageant held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
A pageant to commemorate 200 years of Gurkha service to the Crown was held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 8th June with HM The Queen in attendance.
Several other senior members of the Royal Family were also present including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry.
The event was organised by the Gurkha Welfare Trust and involved hundreds of Gurkha soldiers and performers.
Joanna Lumley and Dan Snow narrated the pageant alongside Gurkhas, which told the story of how 5,000 Gurkhas entered the British Army in 1815. There were battle re-enactments, traditional dancing and music from the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
Lieutenant Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Hospital Chelsea Major General David McDowall CBE said: “We are very proud to host this incredibly important event. The British Army and the Gurkhas are commemorating a 200 year history and the Royal Hospital Chelsea provides a fitting and historic backdrop for the pageant. Many of our Chelsea Pensioners served alongside Gurkhas and they along with current members of the British Army have the upmost respect for the Gurkhas’ loyalty and bravery."
The Gurkhas have served in every major conflict since 1815 and still serve in the British Army today.
Chelsea Pensioner John Saville had the opportunity to serve with the Gurkhas and remembers them well. He said: “I served with the Gurkhas in the Military Police. You would trust them with your life, there no doubt about that.”
The Pageant paid tribute to Gurkha history and traditions and hundreds of serving Gurkhas took part in the celebrations.