The Longines Global Champions Tour arrives in London, England during the first week of August to a brand new location that those outside of the United Kingdom may not be so familiar with.
However, a quick look at the history of this compelling new venue offers new understanding of London’s rich history, and the meaning behind the LGCT’s next backdrop, close to the bank of the River Thames.
Last week, London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Scott Brash paid a visit to London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea to meet some of its residents, all of whom are respected army veterans living out their retirements at this 300-year-old landmark. Read on to find out more about the location, and don’t miss the LGCT London, August 4-6, 2017.
- Founded in 1682 by King Charles II, the Royal Hospital opened its doors for veterans, who are otherwise known as the “Chelsea Pensioners”. The Royal Hospital officially became a retirement and nursing home in 1692.
- Highly acclaimed English architect Sir Christopher Wren designed the Chelsea Hospital. Educated at the University of Oxford, Wren also designed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
- The residents of the Royal Hospital have all served as soldiers in the British Army. Any man or woman aged over 65 years old, can apply to become a Chelsea Pensioner and must be “of good character.”
- When within the hospital and surrounding areas, the Chelsea Pensioners are encouraged to wear a blue uniform, known as “blues.” Outside of the hospital, they wear their distinctive scarlet coats along with tricorne hats.
- Today, about 300 army veterans live at the Royal Hospital, including those who have served in World War II, Northern Ireland, Cyrus, Korea, and the Falkland Islands.