Pensioner William Fraser BEM is taking lockdown in his stride and enjoying a relaxed routine – although he misses a drink in the Club with his friends.

Chelsea Pensioner Roy Palmer, 81, talks about his time in isolation and the life experiences that have helped him to cope with the Royal Hospital’s restrictions during the pandemic. 

The historic Founder’s Day Parade is the most important event of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s normally busy events schedule. Ordinarily the Hospital’s grounds team are busy tidying up following the thousands of visitors from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and following Founder’s Day, preparations would be underway for for the Live at Chelsea music concerts.

12 May is the International Day of the Nurse where people all over the world recognise the important role of nurses in their communities. On this day we also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale. Nightingale is credited as being the founder of modern nursing.

The Royal Hospital welcomed BBC's Defence Correspondent Johnathan Beale to see what life is like for the pensioners under these new restrictions and speak with the Hospital's Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.

Healthcare systems in countries around the world are facing a considerable challenge in their Coronavirus preparation and response. The increased risk to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions is putting pressure on organisations which have a primary focus on caring for older people.

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Pensioners holding a Christmas wreath outside
Festive thoughts from the Chelsea Pensioners

Christmas is almost here and although life is still far from normal the Chelsea Pensioners are enjoying being part of our community at this special time. We are celebrating in many of the traditional ways at the Royal Hospital – while ensuring guidelines are followed and the Chelsea Pensioners stay as safe as possible. 

Stirring of the Christmas Pudding Ceremony 2021
Festive fun at the stirring of the Christmas Pudding ceremony

Chelsea Pensioners and staff gathered together in the Great Hall on the last day of November to usher in the start of Advent with the first of the Royal Hospital’s annual Christmas traditions. 

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