THE HOME OF THE ICONIC CHELSEA PENSIONERS
The Tricone hats and scarlet red coats of the Chelsea pensioners have become the iconic symbols of the Great British veteran community.
When the Royal Chelsea Hospital first opened its doors to veterans in February 1692, King Charles II intended it to be a place of comfort and respite for those who had not been left untouched by the horrors of the battlefield. This vision for the hospital, executed with the help of Sir Christopher Wren all those three hundred years ago, still remains the building's sole purpose to this day.
Today, the three hundred residents of this hospital include those who have served in the Falkland Islands, Korea, Northern Ireland and the Second World War- one can only imagine the hidden oral histories that are conversed within its walls. This great architectural spectacle stands opposite the River Thames and welcomes all those former soldiers of the British army over the age of sixty-five who face a future alone to apply to become a resident. King Charles II's mission statement when the hospital first opened was that it should continue to assist surviving veterans for future generations to come.