Like communities across the country, the Royal Hospital is preparing to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation. Not only will the Chelsea Pensioners be representing veterans publicly, but they also will be marking this momentous event here in their historic home.
The King’s Coronation holds a special significance for the Royal Hospital. Each and every Chelsea Pensioner swore allegiance to The Queen and that pledge of loyalty continues to her successor. And the Royal Hospital itself would not be here today without our current King’s namesake, King Charles II.
Chelsea Pensioner Roy Palmer has become the Royal Hospital’s first Herald. Roy, who was town crier for Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire before he became a Chelsea Pensioner, says he was keen to fulfil a similar role for his new home.
Along with people up and down the country, the Chelsea Pensioners have been mourning the loss of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Her death has a particularly profound significance for them, because – as former soldiers – each one swore an oath of allegiance to her.
Anyone who was lucky enough to visit the recent Fabergé exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert museum may have spotted an exquisite little model of a Chelsea Pensioner, complete with his Scarlet uniform.