There have been female Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital since 2009, but women have played a part in our story for far longer. 

This week, the Royal Hospital came together with major London parks to plant Elm trees as part of Elms4London, Elm Tree Planting Week.

On 4 February 330 years ago, the Royal Hospital opened its doors to the very first Chelsea Pensioners. Today, we are still providing a home for the Nation’s Army veterans in the site Sir Christopher Wren designed, according to King Charles II’s original vision.

Christmas is almost here and although life is still far from normal the Chelsea Pensioners are enjoying being part of our community at this special time. We are celebrating in many of the traditional ways at the Royal Hospital – while ensuring guidelines are followed and the Chelsea Pensioners stay as safe as possible. 

Chelsea Pensioners and staff gathered together in the Great Hall on the last day of November to usher in the start of Advent with the first of the Royal Hospital’s annual Christmas traditions. 

After the restrictions last year, the Royal Hospital today commemorated Remembrance with a Drumhead Ceremony on figure court.

We were delighted to welcome Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate to the Royal Hospital recently, to mark the start of our Remembrance commemorations. 

On 29 October, our Deputy Matron Gail St Juste-Alcide attended the prestigious Nursing Times awards at the Grosvenor Hotel, as a judge for the new Social Care in Nursing award.

To mark Halloween, we’ve been investigating a murky period in the history of the Royal Hospital’s Old Burial Ground. First consecrated in 1691, over 10,00 Chelsea Pensioners, staff and families were laid to rest here before burials ceased in 1854.

Thanks to a development grant of £135,726 awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards a £7.2 million project, the home of the Chelsea Pensioners will be creating a new Visitor Centre to welcome more of the public to its historic site.

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Major Phil Shannon
Farewell to Major Phil Shannon

We prepare to say a fond farewell to Royal Hospital favourite Major Phil Shannon MBE

Founders Day 2022
Founder’s Day returns to its full glory at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

After 2020’s cancellation and last year’s pared back celebration due to the pandemic, the most iconic date in the Royal Hospital’s calendar returned to its full glory this year. 

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