The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement home and nursing home for some 300 veterans of the British Army. Founded as an almshouse, the ancient sense of the word “hospital”, it is a 66-acre site located on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea. It is an independent charity and relies partly upon donations to cover day-to-day running costs to provide care and accommodation for veterans.
Any man or woman who is over the age of 65 and served as a regular soldier may apply to become a Chelsea Pensioner (i.e. a resident), if they have found themselves in a time of need and are “of good character”. They must not, however, have any dependent spouse or family and former Officers must have served at least 12 years in the ranks before receiving a commission.
The gardens of the Royal Hospital are Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.