With the COVID-19 virus continuing to spread across the world, we have taken the necessary steps to safeguard the Chelsea Pensioners and staff at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The main Royal Hospital Chelsea site remains closed to external visitors during 2021 until further notice. We are delighted to announce that the Shop & Post Office will reopen to the public on Monday 12th April and residents in the MTI will be allowed 2 regular indoor visitors by prior arrangement. The Hospital will release any changes on the Site Restrictions page.

We’re treading cautiously and abiding by all the guidelines, but seeing the Royal Hospital’s community starting to enjoy a taste of its old freedoms is giving us all a boost.

Please use the menu below to see how we are protecting the Chelsea Pensioners and our staff community, and what restrictions remain in place.

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Grinling Gibbons statue of Charles II
The story behind the statue

On 3 August 2021 it will be 300 years since Grinling Gibbons’ death. Gibbons is celebrated as arguably the greatest decorative wood carver in British history. However, at the Royal Hospital we know him as the artist responsible for the striking gilded statue of our founder that stands in Figure Court – named in its honour. 

HRH Duke of Gloucester meeting Pensioner Tony Judge
Hope and happiness as Chelsea Pensioners celebrate the return of Founder’s Day

Founder’s Day is the highlight of the Royal Hospital’s calendar. Ever since 1692, it has been held on or close to 29 May – the birth of King Charles II and the date of his restoration to the throne. 

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