When lockdown was first on the horizon, the Royal Hospital wanted to find activities that would keep the Pensioners interested and occupied, without putting them at risk. The Army drill of pace-sticking was suggested and not only has it proved extremely popular, the Chelsea Pensioner pace-stickers held their own against serving soldiers when they visited Sandhurst for the annual pace-sticking competition. Due to the exceptional circumstances this year, the usual international event was replaced by the first-ever tri-services contest.

This summer we are delighted to announce that, for the first time, the Luna Cinema will take up residency in our South Grounds. Tickets are now on sale to enjoy an outdoor, socially distanced, cinema experience over two weeks from the 25th of August.

This year, the Royal Hospital held a slightly unusual Founder's Day Parade in order to observe social distancing. Although we were very sad our friends, supporters and Reviewing Officer HRH the Duchess of Cornwall could not be in attendance, the Chelsea Pensioners still managed to mark the day with true military spirit.

​​With the country likely to be under prolonged isolation, the Governor of the Royal Hospital has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the Founder’s Day celebrations this year.

On Thursday 10 October, as part of the Chelsea History Festival, the Royal Hospital’s Wren Chapel will be the setting for The Lark Ascending – a concert of English vocal and orchestral music. William Vann explains what makes The Lark Ascending concert at the Wren Chapel special.

Tickets are now on sale for a fascinating festival of history on the Royal Hospital Road in one of London’s most ancient districts.

Colin Thackery stormed to a sensational victory on the Britain's Got Talent grand final and won universal praise for his heart-rending performances. But what encouraged him to apply to perform on the show?

On the Royal Hospital’s south grounds the D-Day 75 Garden stands as an ephemeral and touching reminder of the sacrifice made by so many on the shores of Normandy on the 6th June 1944.

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.

When Chelsea Pensioner Ernie Boyden noticed a small street called Bunhouse Place, behind the Pimlico Road, he decided to investigate.

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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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