Royal Hospital Chelsea

Royal Hospital Chelsea

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is famous around the world as the home of the scarlet-coated Chelsea Pensioners. 

It was founded by King Charles II in 1692 ‘For the succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war’. Well over 300 years later it continues to serve this same purpose, caring for veteran soldiers to whom the nation owes a debt of gratitude. 

Today the Royal Hospital Chelsea is home to around 300 Chelsea Pensioners, who come from across the United Kingdom and have served in conflicts from World War II to the Falklands. They all understand what it means to be a solider and the potential sacrifice that signing up entails. 

Anyone who is over sixty-five and has served as a regular solider, who has no dependent spouse or family, who finds themselves in need and who is “of good character” can apply to become one of the world famous Chelsea Pensioners. Former officers must have served at least 12 years in the ranks before receiving a commission. 

As well as a warm welcome among fellow veterans, the Royal Hospital Chelsea provides meals, accommodation and activities for its residents. The purpose-built Infirmary with its specialist dementia ward cares for veterans as they face the increasing challenges and trials of old age. 

Although the Royal Hospital does receive some funding from the government, it does need to raise in excess of £2million every year to pay for running costs. 

To make a donation to the charity, visit: 

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