We are delighted to be able to share an exclusive opportunity to join the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the 2020 Christmas Carol service, which this year has been recorded to allow our friends and supporters to enjoy the concert from the safety and comfort of their home.

Today the Chelsea Pensioners had an early Christmas present delivered from the NHS in the administration of the Pfizer vaccine.

Senior staff nurse Gail St Juste Alcide says that the dementia ward’s Christmas celebrations will be as joyful as ever, despite the pandemic. 

The Christmas Cake Ceremony has been a tradition for over 70 years, beginning in 1949, and is a symbol of the enduring friendship between the UK and Australia.

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! But this year was very different.

This Christmas, we’re delighted to be sharing the Royal Hospital’s first-ever handmade advent calendar. From the photograph of the our colonnade – which forms the backdrop of the calendar – to the treasures hidden behind each door, every part of the calendar has been made by a Chelsea Pensioner. 

Christmas is a time for celebration. However, it can also highlight feelings of sadness and loss. Our wonderful care team do their utmost to support Pensioners, whatever their needs, during the festive season.

As we look ahead to the upcoming festive holidays, we caught up with some of the Chelsea Pensioners who have been sharing their memories of Christmas past.

The Royal Hospital’s weekly pottery club, run by Emily Hall, is very popular with the Pensioners – particularly at this time of year, as they plan their festive projects. 

Today, the Government of South Australia and the South Australian Branch of the Returned and Services League of South Australia (RSL) celebrated the annual Christmas Cake Ceremony with the Chelsea Pensioners. 

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Paul Whittick
“When we’re out of lockdown, I’ll be ready!”

Chelsea Pensioner Paul Whittick, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, has always been keen on keeping fit. In the light of lockdown, he says staying physically and mentally active is more important than ever.

Pensioners on parade for the Royal visit
“It’s a lovely day tomorrow”

The pandemic has meant it’s been a very difficult year for us all. The Chelsea Pensioners are no exception and have missed getting out and about. Nevertheless, they’ve put a brave face on it and, as one Chelsea Pensioner puts it, “the banter continues”.

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