Chelsea History Festival 2020

From its fashion mavericks to iconic rock-star residents, Chelsea’s heritage is worth celebrating. From 17-27 September 2020, the festival returns for its second year showcasing Chelsea’s illustrious past with a programme of over 50 events featuring world-class speakers, authors and historians on a virtual and physical stage.

This year’s festival will take place both virtually and physically with an exciting programme of talks, tours and events presented by three iconic institutions; the National Army Museum; the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden covering a broad range of content to suit every interest, from military to art history and social to natural history.

All virtual events will be free to attend, however must be booked in advance. Tickets for physical events are priced up to £15, with a 25% discount when booking three or more. To ensure you don’t miss out, make sure you book your places as early as possible; bookings can be made here.

Highlights from the programme include;

  • Philippe Sands, one of the UK’s most prominent human rights barristers, in conversation with James Holland discussing his most recent book, ‘The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive’
  • An evening with Bletchley Park; spotlighting its role in the Second World War
  • Ben Macintyre, one of Britain’s most acclaimed historians, tells the incredible story of Ursula Kuczynski. Codenamed ‘Sonya’, she conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the 20th Century, including planning an assassination attempt on Hitler and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb
  • Sir Michael Morpurgo will talk about how he turns the subject of war into fiction
  • Award-winning war reporter, Christina Lamb has worked in combat zones for over 30 years. Her new book, ‘Our bodies, their battlefield’, gives voice to the women of conflicts. She will be in conversation with world-renowned human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy, who has worked internationally with women in conflict zones
  • Martin Brown, illustrator of ‘Horrible Histories’, will take families on a journey from the bloody Battle of Waterloo to the frightful First World War and will get them drawing in a quick fire workshop
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Colin Thackery Cadogan Hall

Love Changes Everything with Colin Thackeray

Sergeant Major Colin Thackery won the nation’s hearts as he won Britain’s Got Talent 2019 – for one night only, he’ll perform at Cadogan Hall.

When the 89-year-‘young’ Chelsea Pensioner started to sing he brought tears to much of the audience’s eyes. In his scarlet attire, with a row of war medals across his chest, he mesmerised the audience as he sung in memory of his beloved wife, Joan. Since the show, he has become the oldest person to sign a record deal.

This concert will see him sing his much loved BGT-winning songs and from his debut album, Love Changes Everything.

Tickets range from £22.50 to £39.50 – book yours here.

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Twilight Tours

A must for lovers of history and architecture, join us for the Royal Hospital’s first Twilight Tour on 4 March 2020.

A unique chance to tour the historic grounds by twilight, you will meet their founder, King Charles II, along with some other interesting figures from the Hospital’s 300 year history. After, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink at the exclusive Chelsea Pensioners Club.

Tours start from 6pm and 7pm and last 90 minutes, allowing for half an hour at the end in the museum and gift shop; book tickets here

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Chelsea History Festival

For history-buffs and budding-historians, the Chelsea History Festival will launch this October to bring the past to life through a programme of world-class speakers, historians and performers. The inaugural festival will take place from 9-13 October 2019 along the Royal Hospital Road at founder venues, the National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden. In it’s first year, the Festival will host a programme of more than 35 free and ticketed events which include talks, concerts and family activities making history more accessible.

Headline Events

Wednesday – the event launches on Wednesday 9 October, on the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, one of the most daring campaigns of WW2. Celebrated Arnhem veteran, Victor Gregg will be in conversation with bestselling historian Rick Stroud, followed by a lecture from Antony Beevor on the famous ‘battle for the bridges’.

Thursday – join an evening performance of The Lark Ascending, featuring one of the world’s leading lyric baritones, Roderick Williams, taking place in the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Wren Chapel.

Friday – Max Hastings headlines with a talk on his new book Chastised: The Dambusters Story, 1943 which will be published in September.

Saturday – the principal day of the Festival with over 20 scheduled events including the formidable Sonia Purnell with her New York Times bestseller A Woman of No Importance, history walks around the neighbourhood and David Nott sharing his experiences as a surgeon in Aleppo.

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Global Champions Tour – 2-4 August

Global Champions Tour, one of Chelsea’s sporting highlights of the summer returns to the Royal Hospital over the weekend of 2-4 August. The London leg of the world-class showjumping championships will take place at the iconic Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Number 14 out of 20 on the circuit, the competition will be at it’s peak and will give you the opportunity to see the world’s best show jumpers, including Olympic, World and Continental champions, battle it out.

To receive an exclusive 15% off your Grandstand ticket price, enter “GCTCADOGAN” when purchasing online.

Find out more here.

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Central London’s First Edible Trail

Find yourself along Chelsea’s hidden gem, Pavilion Road, and you’ll stumble upon Pavilion Road’s Edible Trail, the first of its kind in central London.

From bananas and pomegranates, to apple and blackberry crumble ingredients, as well as flavoured teas – you can embark on a delicious tour for the taste-buds. Simply scan the QR codes which will take you through to some edible inspiration; recipes, foraging tips and highlights from the trail.

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Masterpiece

The worlds leading cross-collecting fair, Masterpiece, returns to its iconic setting of the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea this summer, 27 June – 5 July.

A highlight in the summer calendar for artists, art-lovers and art collectors, Masterpiece provides an unparalleled opportunity to discover exceptional works for sale from over 150 international artists. It is unquestionably a unique, international stage to enjoy an extraordinary breadth of cultural experiences.

Exhibitors span all eras and disciplines. Entry though scrupulous vetting, from 27 individual vetting committees, and thoughtful juxtaposition allow visitors to encounter beautiful works of art and be comforted in their decisions by the expert art dealers.

Enhancing the experience, guests can dine in pop-ups from London favourites, Le Caprice, Scott’s Seafood & Champagne Bar, The Ivy Chelsea Brasserie and The Sloane Street Deli. Toast with friends on the Perrier-Jouet Champagne Terrace, exquisite champagnes to be savoured alongside stunning views of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Reservations can be made here.

An exciting programme of talks will also run through the week; some drop in, others pre-booked. The full list can be found here, but here is a selection of highlights to whet your appetite.

  • Architectural Digest: The Omnivorous Eye (Pre-booked); Mitchell Owens, the Decorative Arts Editor of Architectural Digest (US), in conversation with interior designers Rita Konig and Ben Pentreath on collecting widely and decorating with depth – Friday 28th, Lecture Theatre
  • Carl Faberge: A Restless Imagination – Friday 28th, Wartski, stand C1
  • Alfred Munnings: 1919 A Fresh start – Friday 28th, Richard Green, stand D21
  • An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection (Pre-booked), Saturday 29th, 4pm, Lecture Theatre

Purchase your Masterpiece 2019 tickets here.

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