The Stirring of the Christmas Pudding

30th November 2015

For the past 80 years the Chelsea Pensioners have gathered together to participate in the annual ‘Stirring of the Christmas Pudding’ ceremony at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. 

This year’s event took place in the Royal Hospital’s Great Hall on Monday 30th November and saw the Pensioners mix together enough ingredients for 75 Christmas puddings. The list of ingredients include: 70 eggs, nearly three kilograms of flour, five kilograms of currants, 14 pints of Guinness and two bottles of: rum, sherry, brandy and port.

John Rochester, Heritage Manager at the Royal Hospital Chelsea said: “Of the many ceremonies and traditions at the Royal Hospital the stirring of the Christmas Pudding is the one that kicks off the Christmas events and so is eagerly anticipated. The sheer quantity of ingredients that go into the huge bowl is staggering, but then the Chelsea Pensioners always have good appetite.”

After a blessing of ingredients by the Royal Hospital’s Chaplain, each Chelsea Pensioner at the ceremony added an ingredient to a large mixing bowl and then took turns to stir the mixture with a large wooden panel. The Chelsea Pensioners’ band played a few carols after the event to get everyone into the Christmas mood. Once all of the ingredients were thoroughly stirred, the mixture was taken to the Royal Hospital kitchen where it will sit for a day, before it is divided up into smaller puddings that the Chelsea Pensioners will enjoy over the festive period.

The ceremony was live tweeted here: #ChristmasPuddingDay

Royal Hospital Chelsea Newsletter

Stay up to date with what's going on at The Royal Hospital by signing up for our e‑newsletter.


View the archive

Pat Mcgurk
The Chelsea Pensioner who drove everyone from the SAS to popstars and a princess

Pat McGurk joined the Army at 17 and never looked back. As a driver in the Royal Corps of Transport, he worked with close protection and the SAS, before driving dignitaries, VIPs and royalty. 

Dewi Treharne
Meet Chelsea Pensioner Dewi Treharne

Chelsea Pensioner Dewi Treharne served for 27 years in the British Army. During that time, he was posted all over the world and grew particularly attached to Germany, where he spent 15 years of his military career. 


Follow @RHChelsea