David Beckham’s unforgettable Remembrance visit to the Royal Hospital

6th November 2020

We were delighted to welcome footballing legend David Beckham to the Royal Hospital for the launch of the annual Poppy Appeal, to remember those who have died fighting for the Nation. 

David, whose grandfather Joseph West served in the Scots Guards in World War II, explained what Remembrance means to him:

“It is so important we remember the sacrifices our Armed Forces have made for us as individuals, as families and as a country… It is such an important part of our history and of our future too.” 

The footballer also shared happy memories of seeing Chelsea Pensioners at occasions like the Changing of the Guard when he was a child – as well as in the crowd when he was playing Chelsea as a young footballer. 

“With another lockdown, it is more important than ever that we support our veterans.”

David Beckham joins the Chelsea Pensioners for tea.
While David enjoyed chatting and joking with the Pensioners (at a safe distance), he was conscious of the challenges they’re currently facing, saying, “With another lockdown, it’s more important than ever we support our veterans” and acknowledged that “we owe that generation everything”.

Remember with the Chelsea Pensioners

Don’t forget to join the Chelsea Pensioners’ Remembrance ceremony at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Tune into the BBC’s Festival of Remembrance on Saturday 7 November at 9:10pm to share in this moving occasion.

When the Chelsea Pensioners met David Beckham

David Beckham shows off his putting skills
The Chelsea Pensioners were happy to share some banter with the famous footballer when he visited the Royal Hospital.

“He’s quite good looking” – Charmaine Coleman, 88

“I remember you from our youth team, but you deserted us!” – Spurs fan 81-year-old Anthony Hunt

“You’re alright with a ball” – Roy Palmer, 81, on seeing David try croquet

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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.

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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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