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. 

On a day when the Chelsea Pensioners would traditionally be on parade with over 1,000 service men and women in Salisbury to celebrate Armed Forces Day, this year has seen a very different celebration of this important event.

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.

This year the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s annual Founder’s Day parade coincided with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France and was attended by HRH the Duke of Sussex.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, this year marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. Today we look back at how the Chelsea Pensioners supported the Centenary commemorations.

Today Chelsea Pensioners, Royal Hospital staff and local school children took part in a Drumhead Service ahead of Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

On the 1st of September the Chelsea Pensioners, in partnership with The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association for Greater London, proudly led a military Parade down the King’s Road to commemorate Londoners who contributed to the war effort in World War One.

HRH Prince Michael of Kent reviewed the Chelsea Pensioners and General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, KCB OBE announced as the new Governor of the Royal Hospital.

The Chelsea Pensioners have paraded at the Royal Hospital Chelsea's Founder's Day on 8 June, reviewed by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex.

Every year the Chelsea Pensioners are welcome guests on the Channel Islands, for a celebration of history, Liberation and reconciliation.

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Two Chelsea Pensioners opening the gate to the Soane Stable Yard
Royal Hospital Chelsea joins the Chelsea Heritage Quarter and Chelsea History Festival this September with special previews of the Soane Stable Yard

We are delighted to announce that the Royal Hospital Chelsea will be part of the Chelsea History Festival once again this year, from Wednesday 25 to Sunday 29 September 2024 and part of the new Chelsea Heritage Quarter – London’s new heritage destination. 

King's Birthday Honours 2024
Royal Hospital Model of Care recognised in two awards at King’s Birthday Honours

The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s model of care for older veterans has been recognised through awards for two members of staff in The King's Birthday Honours list this year.