Life at the Royal Hospital is a little different during the pandemic as we have adjusted to ensure everyone’s safety. We are doing everything we can to offer a sense of normality and to keep morale up under these controlled conditions.

On entering the Royal Hospital as a Chelsea Pensioner, you will receive a warm welcome from fellow veterans and staff. Accommodation is provided in the newly refurbished Long Wards, where you will have your own bedroom with en suite facilities and study area.

In the communal lounges you can socialise with fellow Pensioners and admire the magnificent views of the Royal Hospital.

All meals are provided in the beautiful dining rooms of the Great Hall and the Chelsea Pensioners’ Club, with different menu options available every day.

Chelsea Pensioners are encouraged to wear their uniforms; it is mandatory to wear the scarlet uniform when representing the Royal Hospital on a recognised visit or when on parade, such as the annual Founder’s Day parade in June. Otherwise within a two mile radius of the Royal Hospital the blue day-to-day uniform is normally worn. The blue uniform is also worn at breakfast and lunch in the Great Hall. Most Chelsea Pensioners wear this throughout the day in and around the Royal Hospital, but Pensioners are permitted to wear their civilian clothes whenever they wish to dress down (usually in the evenings).

The social life of the Royal Hospital is rich and varied with a number of activities on offer every week, such as bingo, gardening, film nights, pottery and bridge club. There are also frequent invitations to attend special events outside the Royal Hospital, from charity fundraisers to sporting fixtures. Every year Chelsea Pensioners have the opportunity to represent the Royal Hospital at various ceremonial and commemorative events, including at the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.

In addition, Pensioners participate in projects that support the wider community as part of the Royal Hospital’s outreach programme.

We are welcoming applications to become a Chelsea Pensioner with some changes to our process. Please see our eligibility criteria to find out more.

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David Hinds - Self Portrait
Community, creativity and connection - Chelsea Pensioners and the Soldiers’ Arts Academy

The Soldiers’ Arts Academy links serving and veteran Army personnel and their families with professionals from the creative arts. Through a range of workshops, projects and productions they give participants the opportunity to discover new interests, recover from difficult experiences, transition into civilian life and even find new careers. 

Burial Grounds Thumb
Researching our old Burial Ground gives Chelsea Pensioners a new lease of life

The monuments in the old Burial Ground record Chelsea Pensioners who took part in famous battles, former Governors and other members of staff and their families – and famous figures from the Royal Hospital’s history.

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