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HRH Prince Michael of Kent Reviews the Chelsea Pensioners at Founder’s Day 2018

HRH Prince Michael of Kent reviewed the Chelsea Pensioners today at Royal Hospital Road. The pensioners resplendent in their scarlet coats tapped their hands and feet to the music of the Coldstream Guards, and proudly smiled when introduced to his Highness. Also present were his wife, HRH Princess Michael of Kent and the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Cllr. Marie-Therese Rossi. In his replying speech, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE announced his pleasure at taking over as Governor of Royal Hospital Road.

Images and copyright:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

Radiant HRH The Princess Royal reviews Chelsea Pensioners at Founder’s Day Parade

HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the refurbished Wren designed ‘Long Wards’ whilst visiting Royal Hospital Road, home to the Chelsea Pensioners, at their recent annual Founder’s Day Parade. Dressed in pale blue and looking strikingly similar to the Queen at a young age, she enchanted the men in scarlet and showed her mother’s knack for sharing a quick joke with all she met. Sporting an Oak Leaf, symbolic of the tree King Charles II hid behind in order to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces in 1661 at the Battle of Worcester, ‘Oak Apple Day’ as Founder’s Day is also known, is held on a day closest to King Charles II birthday (29th May) and the date of his restoration as King in 1660.  Those attending the parade represented many of the British corps, rejiments and military charities of which HRH The Princess Royal is Colonel in Chief, Colonel or Patron.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott, www.lucyelliottphotography
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British Soldier takes on gruelling 20 days of fitness exercise to raise money for Royal Hospital Chelsea

 

Staff Sergeant Stephen Hughes (27) who is currently serving in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps in Kabul undertook a gruelling 20 days of 20 different physical challenges to raise money for Royal Hospital Chelsea.  The ‘Reps to Remember’ 20 tough physical exercises were chosen to mark the number of British Forces operational tours of Afghanistan, and to repeat them 453 times, equating to the number of British Soldiers who lost their lives in the region.

Stephen said of his fundraising challenge in Kabul, “The ‘Reps to Remember’ challenges were extremely tough; far harder than I had anticipated. Thinking about the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, where my comrades and I may live in our retirement and the 453 service personnel who sadly lost their lives in Afghanistan definitely got me through it. I’m really pleased that 240 people were moved to donate to this great cause.”

Kate Marsh, Fundraising Manager at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, said, “Now that Stephen has completed these challenges we are even more in awe of his efforts than we were before. He is a true inspiration and we are delighted that the public got behind him to very nearly reach his target of £5,000 for the Royal Hospital Chelsea.” (To date Stephen has raised £4,734. Donations are still being accepted at http://bit.ly/reps2remember).

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Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com

www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk

 

 

HRH Duke of Kent visits Royal Hospital Road to celebrate Founder’s Day

A beautiful day but tinged with sadness as many Pensioners were not present due to the Anniversary celebrations of D-Day at Normandy. However, those present looked radiant in their red coats. Prior to the service the Duke was shown around the new accommodation for the Pensioners and was impressed with the efforts made by many to establish the Royal Hospital as a beacon of excellence in the domain of care. The sun shone for most of the morning, making a particularly rather splendid appearance on cue for the National Anthem. At the end of the service as HRH Duke of Kent and other dignitaries walked back through the great oak doors, the bagpipes played. Everyone was still, with the bagpipes playing in the distance, quieter and quieter. Very moving. We were delighted to catch up with Joe Britten, their oldest resident who is 102 (and eight months)!

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/www.lucyelliottphotography.com
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Chelsea Pensioners rock when meeting Bryan Adams

This morning singer/songwriter/photographer and philanthropist Bryan Adams unveiled a berth named in his honour at Royal Hospital Chelsea. The newly revamped accommodation now reverts to a larger outside hallway, bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and study – and are much lighter that previously. 81 yr old Tom Mullaney is the proud owner of this berth, although he seemed somewhat non-plussed by the visitation of a world class pop star. Adams has a close relationship with Royal Hospital Chelsea, having performed a concert there in aid of his Foundation (The Bryan Adams Foundation) some five years ago, and will be performing there again in July.

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Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott/www.lucyelliottphotography.com

 

 

 

Celebrating Influential Women with the Mayor of RBKC and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

An inspirational reception held at the Town Hall by the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea Councillor Julie Mills, with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in attendance. A room full of women at the top of their professions – professions represented being eclectic; philanthropy, armed forces, retail, government, entertainment, legal and medical with many High Commissioners or Ambassadors representing the Commonwealth. This was particularly relevant since the event was being held on Commonwealth Day. An informal approach to the event enabled everyone to ‘network’ together and it was a privilege for all to meet the Duchess who was particularly interested in meeting those representing parts of the Commonwealth she had visited.

 ‘HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (centre) with the wife of the Lieutenant Governor of the Royal Hospital Angela Currie (blue); Chelsea in-pensioners and the Royal Borough’s Mayor Cllr Julie Mills.’

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Prince Harry Reviews the Chelsea Pensioners’ Founders Day – June 9th

This morning HRH Prince Harry, looking splendid in his Household Cavalry Blues and Royals uniform, admitted to being somewhat nervous as he inspected the Chelsea Pensioners at their annual Founders Day Parade. The In-Pensioners enjoyed his visit and the Prince smiling away seemed to be most at ease with them. One Chelsea Pensioner, Joe Britton has been at Royal Hospital Road for 17 years and will be 100 in October, had a long chat with him. (We also had a chat with Joe but we don’t expect he told Harry that he was on ‘Deal or No Deal’ in 1997 and won £20,000). Prince Harry is the first serving officer to review the event since HRH The Duke of Kent did so in 1974.

Those Pensioners, who were able, marched past Prince Harry, saluting with the hand furthest away from His Royal Highness – a custom dating back to when knights in armour saluted by lifting their visors to show their identity with whichever hand did not hide their face. The average age of those filing past Prince Harry was 82 – a fact that did not escape him as he commented that he was impressed to see they marched better in rank that his brother did!

Images: Lucy Elliott

Copyright: The Kensington Magazine

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Pensioners reviewed by HRH The Duke of Gloucester

On another bright and glorious summer’s day in London, HRH The Duke of Gloucester inspected the Chelsea Pensioners who marched past resplendent in their red and black uniform, buttons and boots gleaming and shining. For the 300 soldiers this is the highlight of the year – a known fact that living there, increases life span by about a further ten years, such is the congeniality of the environment.

In addition to the March past, the Duke of Gloucester was also there to open the first of the modern study bedrooms the soldiers will live in. Until now, accommodation has been windowless, nine foot square ‘berths’.  With new accommodation perhaps their life span might increase to 15 years longer than their counter parts in ‘civvie’ land?!  (Photos by kind courtesy of Lawson Dodd)

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