Inspired by the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, King Charles II founded The Royal Hospital Chelsea in 1692. For 300 years, this charitable institution has offered care and comradeship for veterans in recognition of their loyal service to the Nation. A major London landmark, it is world famous as the home of the scarlet-coated ‘Chelsea Pensioners’.
Set in 66 acres in the heart of Chelsea, West London, and at just a stone’s throw from both the King’s Road and the River Thames, the impressive main hospital building was designed by architect, Sir Christopher Wren. The listed buildings retain nearly all of their original features, with exquisite period interiors featuring a wealth of architectural detail. The Chapel and The Great Hall, where the Duke of Wellington lay in state in 1852, are two of the most magnificent historical interiors in London—and both are still in daily use, as per their original purpose.
The gardens of the Royal Hospital, with their great expanse of verdant green lawn are Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Since 1913, the site has become synonymous with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. In fact, the only events privileged enough to be allowed onto this hallowed turf are the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Masterpiece Art Fair, the Longines Global Champions Tour Show-jumping – and now, Salon Privé London.