The historic Founder’s Day Parade is the most important event of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s normally busy events schedule. Ordinarily the Hospital’s grounds team are busy tidying up following the thousands of visitors from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and following Founder’s Day, preparations would be underway for for the Live at Chelsea music concerts.
This year was very different. The Parade went ahead, albeit in a scaled-back and quiet fashion and the Pensioners participating were socially distanced to ensure no-one was put at risk. The three RTR In Pensioners are well and active and appreciated the small gift that was sent up with a letter from Home Headquarters for this special day. General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE DL stood in for the Duchess of Cornwall. The Pensioners were treated to a fine lunch of prawn cocktail to start and a sirloin steak to follow, which according to Fred “was cooked to perfection”!
Founder's Day, also known as Oak Apple Day, is always held on a date close to 29th May – the birthday of Charles II and the date of his restoration as King in 1660. The Oak reference commemorates the escape of the future King Charles II after the Battle of Worcester (1651) when he hid in an oak tree to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces, and is expressed through all Chelsea Pensioners wearing oak leaves on their famous scarlet uniforms.
Posted: Friday, 29 May 2020