Through the good offices of Anne Wadsworth, we have secured 18 places at the Governor’s Review on Tuesday 4 June, which is the dress rehearsal for Founder’s Day two days later. Afterwards lunch has been arranged in a private room at the Sloane Club nearby in Lower Sloane Street.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Founder's Day, also known as Oak Apple Day, is always held on a date close to 29 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 (pictured below).
The gold statue of Charles II that stands in the centre of figure court is also adorned in oak leaves for the occasion. Over the years the statue oak leaf dressing has varied from a large wreath at the base to a wreath worn on the head, and from total covering where the statue is not even visible to a discreet skirt of oak branches around the base.
Numbers are strictly limited. The cost including the Review and lunch with wine is £85 per person. Please book promptly and certainly no later than Friday 24 May. In view of the limited number of places members are advised to check with by phone or email before submitting an application and payment.