The Royal Hospital Chelsea celebrates its annual Founder’s Day Parade

7th June 2018

Today HRH Prince Michael of Kent reviewed the Chelsea Pensioners at the annual Founder’s Day Parade, which commemorates King Charles II’s founding of the army veterans’ home, the Royal Hospital Chelsea. This year, we were delighted to announce the appointment of General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, KCB OBE as the new Governor of the Royal Hospital, succeeding General Sir Redmond Watt.

The Governor thanked HRH Prince Michael of Kent for reviewing the Chelsea Pensioners on Parade.

In his address, he went on to say: “The Royal Hospital is a truly special place. Its buildings and grounds are amongst the finest in the country. The medical care and welfare support it provides to the Pensioners is first class. This and the military ethos of the Royal Hospital sustains the Pensioners and allows them to lead active and fulfilling lives. It is a magical combination and we really do have a great deal for which to thank our founder, King Charles II. It has been my great privilege to be the Governor for the last seven years, and I am delighted to announce that General Sir Adrian Bradshaw will take over from me in September.”

General Sir Adrian Bradshaw has served as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Director Special Forces and Commander Land Forces. His extensive Army experience and distinguished record make him worthy of the position. Of his new appointment the General said: “It brings me great pleasure to accept the role of Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. I have long been an admirer of the Chelsea Pensioners and the outstanding ways in which they represent the veteran community. I am looking forward to continuing the work begun by General Sir Redmond Watt, preparing for the challenge of sustaining the excellent care provided by the Royal Hospital Chelsea for future generations of Pensioners. The Royal Hospital will continue to uphold and maintain the traditions and military ethos which are so valued by the Pensioners, supporters and the nation. I am deeply honoured to represent and serve not only the Chelsea Pensioners, but also the wider veteran community.”

Amongst the distinguished guests and spectators today, the Royal Hospital also welcomed Gouverneur des Invalides, Lieutenant General Christophe de Saint Chamas and other representatives from Les Invalides – the historic French retirement home for veterans that inspired the founding of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. This visit represents the active and ongoing relationship between two historic institutions, bound by a common vision to recognise their nation’s veterans.

Chelsea Pensioner, Leo Tighe, enjoyed the day saying: "It went well; the weather was in our favour, it wasn't too hot it wasn't too cold, it was perfect."


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View the archive

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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