Chelsea Pensioners celebrate St George's Day

24th April 2019

Each year, April 23rd usually marks St George's Day, the Patron Saint of England who is celebrated for mythical tales of conquering a mighty dragon. This year, the date also marked National Asparagus Day, and the Royal Hospital Chelsea celebrated both events in a uniquely British way.

On a beautiful afternoon, as the sun glistened off the paintwork of a classic Morgan Plus 4 car, BBC's Antiques Roadshow valuer and ceremics specialist, Henry Sandon, joined the Chelsea Pensioners for an afternoon of quintessentially English antics.

Images of knights on horseback are a common sight each year during St George's Day celebrations, but as Chelsea Pensioner, and former Town Crier, Roy Palmer rang out the bells and proclaimed an ode to Asparagus, it was clear that this celebration would be one to remember.

Joining the festivities at the Royal Hospital, alongside St George, was Jemima Packington, the world’s first and only 'Asparamancer' who, it's said, is able to predict the future using nothing more then a handful of asparagus. Then there was 'Gus', a towering human-sized Asparagus who joined the Asparagus Growers' Association as they presented over 1000 spears to the Royal Hospital for all of the Chelsea Pensioners to enjoy. Of course, no St George's Day celebration is complete without a visit from a genuine Morris Dancer.

It was a day of light-hearted fun and impromptu Asparagus-themed songs that the attendees really enjoyed.

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