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. 

This Christmas, we’re delighted to be sharing the Royal Hospital’s first-ever handmade advent calendar. From the photograph of the our colonnade – which forms the backdrop of the calendar – to the treasures hidden behind each door, every part of the calendar has been made by a Chelsea Pensioner. 

Illustrator Mike Payne visited the Infirmary at the Royal Hospital Chelsea this morning to present his latest artwork, commissioned by the son of Chelsea Pensioner Terry Chaffer.

Although Chelsea Pensioners Rick Graham and Ernie Boyden are separated by a generation, they bond over the hobby they share. Both are keen painters and enjoy working together in the Royal Hospital’s art room.

As part of Dementia Action Week, the Royal Hospital Chelsea is joining other organisations in Sloane Square in promoting a series of free cultural events, including an art exhibition featuring work by the Chelsea Pensioners.

The Governor, Sir Adrian Bradshaw, and the Chelsea Pensioners were delighted yesterday to welcome to the Royal Hospital Chelsea another Veteran, Johnny Mercer MP, who completed three tours of Afghanistan.

The Chelsea Pensioners were the guests of honour last week at a photography exhibition which showcased photos taken by the Pensioners during a course held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea earlier this month.

The Chelsea Pensioners recently partnered with artists Scarlett Raven & Marc Marot (creators of the critically acclaimed “Danger Tree” project) to create a new augmented reality artwork to commemorate WWI.

A group of Chelsea Pensioner artists are to exhibit their London-themed work at an exhibition at the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Margaret Thatcher Infirmary (MTI) next week.

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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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