We invite you to you make your way around the historic buildings that make up the UK’s flagship veteran community.

Whilst the physical gates to the Royal Hospital are currently closed to safeguard the Chelsea Pensioners, we invite you to explore our 328 year old heritage from the comfort of your own home.

Find out more about our royal founder King Charles II, the Duke of Wellington’s involvement with the Royal Hospital, notorious physician Messenger Monsey and even meet some of today’s Chelsea Pensioners along the way.

Please note that every historic area can be explored using subtitles, which can be turned on in the video player.

Once we are able to re-open our site to visitors, we hope to welcome you to the Royal Hospital Chelsea in person. In the meantime, you can find out more about supporting the Chelsea Pensioners and the heritage of the Royal Hospital here.

Royal Hospital Chelsea Tour - Introduction:

Meet the Chelsea Pensioners:

Daily Life:

Uniforms:

Built Heritage:

Figure Court:

Figure Court Statue:

Founder's Day:

South Grounds:

Cannons:

Great Hall:

Duke of Wellington:

Wren Chapel:

Chapel Mural:

Music:

Sundays:

Bomb Damage:

Voices from the Past:

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Grinling Gibbons statue of Charles II
The story behind the statue

On 3 August 2021 it will be 300 years since Grinling Gibbons’ death. Gibbons is celebrated as arguably the greatest decorative wood carver in British history. However, at the Royal Hospital we know him as the artist responsible for the striking gilded statue of our founder that stands in Figure Court – named in its honour. 

HRH Duke of Gloucester meeting Pensioner Tony Judge
Hope and happiness as Chelsea Pensioners celebrate the return of Founder’s Day

Founder’s Day is the highlight of the Royal Hospital’s calendar. Ever since 1692, it has been held on or close to 29 May – the birth of King Charles II and the date of his restoration to the throne. 

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