Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses under COVID restrictions

9th December 2020

The Royal Hospital Chelsea has been celebrating the Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses ever since the first Chelsea Pensioners arrived back in 1692. It's a tradition that spans over three centuries!

Despite the global pandemic, the Royal Hospital was determined to continue with this time-honoured tradition in 2020. With the support of Dairy UK, the Chelsea Pensioners enjoyed a socially-distanced cheese ceremony earlier this month.

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Brompton Cemetery Seed Sowing
Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

Chelsea Pensioner Centenarians
100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 

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