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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Ranelagh Gardens & Rotunda
From prehistoric marsh to a college that never opened – uncovering the story of our site

The Royal Hospital dates back to the late 17th century, but the story of the land where it stands has been traced back still further. Research from the Museum of London Archaeology has thrown light on the site’s varied past.

Salisbury Court Gardens - Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital's Hidden Show Garden

This year a new garden was successfully installed in Salisbury Court, the private courtyard within the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary.

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