Monday, 10 June 2013
Royal Chelsea Hospital Wednesday 5th June
All Livery Company Masters and Clerks were invited to the Governor’s Review, which is an annual event held by the Royal Hospital to commemorate its founding by King Charles II. Founder’s Day is held as close as possible to the King’s birthday and the date of his restoration as King in May 1660. This day is also known as Oak Apple Day as it commemorates the escape of the future King after the battle of Worcester in 1651 when he hid in an oak tree to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces. The reviewing officer this year was Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, Chairman of the Association of Lord Lieutenants of the United Kingdom.
Last time I was at the Hospital was when my good friend General Lord Walker was Governor from 2006 – 2011. He will host our Court Dinner in December at the House of Lords. The present Governor is General Sir Redmond Watt. It was a stunning summer’s day and I sat and watched as the Band of the Irish Guards played and the Scots Guards gave a trumpet fanfare from the roof while the Governor and Lord Shuttleworth inspected the proud red coated and very upright In-Pensioners, also chatting to those in wheel chairs and those not able to stand for long periods.
The Chaplain, the Reverend Dick Whittington MBE, said the Royal Hospital Collect and then three cheers for the Chelsea Pensioners were requested by the Governor with the Pensioners hats raised high each time. We were advised that a tour of the Hospital with a Chelsea Pensioner or two could elicit many fascinating stories of the Hospital and its inhabitants.
Special thanks were given for all the wonderful carers that look after the residents. Thanks were also expressed for the many Livery Company Masters present (a record number I was advised) and we then adjourned to the South Terrace for drinks. The building and its grounds are marvellous and I again glimpsed the interior which I have visited before. Hip, hip Hoorah!