A view of Figure Court from ground level by the West wing during Founder's Day on 4th June 1987, with reviewing officer HRH the Duchess of York, who is stood in front of the oak bedecked statue in the centre of the court with officers in blue uniforms. The East wing provides the backdrop for the picture.
Founder's Day at the Royal Hospital Chelsea is held as close as possible to the 29th May. This is the birthday of Charles II as well as the date of his restoration in May 1660. Also known as ‘Oak Apple Day’, it commemorates his escape after the Battle of Worcester (1651) when he hid in an oak tree to avoid capture by the Parliamentary forces. The Chelsea pensioners are usually reviewed by a member of the Royal Family after which they march past the saluting base in Company columns to the strains of ‘The Boys of the Old Brigade’ played by a Regimental Band, usually one of the Guards regiments stationed in London. During the course of this celebratory day the statue of Charles II in Figure Court is partly shrouded in oak leaves, and all participants in the Parade and spectators also wear sprigs of oak leaves in commemoration of the event.
Where to see this painting?
The Royal Hospital Chelsea
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection