Chelsea Pensioners pay their final respects to the Queen

Saying goodbye to their beloved Queen: Chelsea Pensioners pay their final respects to the Queen as 100 veterans file past her coffin as they pay emotional tribute

  • Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners paid their respects at the Queen’s lying-in-state
  • Dressed in iconic uniform, they lined up to say final farewell to late Monarch 
  • The Queen first visited the Royal Chelsea Hospital as Princess Elizabeth in 1947 
  • Her last visit was in 2014, attending the London Regiment WWI Commemoration
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners paid their final respects at Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state on Friday afternoon.

Dressed in their iconic scarlet coats, paired with tricorn hats and white gloves, the veterans were seen entering Westminster Hall to honour Her Majesty.

Upon entering the Hall, the Chelsea Pensioners removed their hats as they lined up to say their final farewell to the late monarch. 

As they left the Palace of Westminster, they were met with cheers and a round of applause from bystanders. 

Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their iconic scarlet uniforms, were seen lining up to enter Westminster Hall on Friday afternoon

Chelsea Pensioners seen leaving the Palace of Westminster after paying their respects to the Queen

Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their iconic scarlet uniforms, paid their respects to the Queen at her lying-in-state on Friday afternoon

The Chelsea Pensioners filled much of Westminster Hall as they bid their final farewell to the late monarch on Friday

Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their iconic scarlet uniforms, paid their respects to the Queen at her lying-in-state on Friday afternoon 

The Chelsea Pensioners were praised by members of the public for filing past the Queen’s coffin ‘without stopping and holding up the queue’.

One person said: ‘Look how dignified the Chelsea Pensioners were, they were able to pay their respects without stopping and holding up the queue.’

A second person posted: ‘Oh how wonderful, they’ve let all the Chelsea Pensioner in together….#QueenLyingInState’.

Another said the queue was ‘very special for many reasons’, adding it was a ‘bonus seeing the Chelsea Pensioners and the changing of the guard’. 

People reacted to the Chelsea Pensioners paying their respects to the Queen on Friday afternoon

Earlier this week, the Chelsea Pensioners swapped their scarlet uniforms for sombre navy blue as they held a Drumhead Service of Remembrance to honour the late monarch.

The special commemorative event was held at the Royal Chelsea Hospital on Tuesday, and saw around 150 men and women gather to remember their commander-in-chief, who led Britain’s Armed Forces for 70 years. 

During the service, the Pensioners stood as a bugler played ‘The Last Post’, a tradition of military funerals in Britain, which was followed by a one-minute silence.

The service concluded with the Chelsea Pensioners singing ‘God Save The King’. 

Following the Queen’s death last Thursday, the governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, said the veterans ‘held their Queen in the very highest regard’ and were ‘all immensely proud to serve and protect their country under her 70-year long reign’.

Her first investiture as monarch was with Korean War hero Bill Speakman, who later became a Chelsea Pensioner.

They remained acquaintances throughout his life, until he passed away in 2018.

Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their iconic scarlet uniforms, paid their respects to the Queen at her lying-in-state on Friday afternoon

Around 100 Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their iconic scarlet uniforms, paid their respects to the Queen at her lying-in-state on Friday afternoon

The Queen had a longstanding relationship with the Chelsea Pensioners, having first visited the Royal Chelsea Hospital as Princess Elizabeth in 1947. 

General Sir Adrian Bradshaw described the late monarch as a ‘regular and much-loved visitor to the Royal Hospital’, first attending as sovereign at an army dinner in 1956, and subsequently to view the Chelsea Pensioners at Founder’s Day on several occasions.   

Her Majesty’s last visit was in 2014 attending the London Regiment WWI Commemoration.

She also regularly attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is held at the hospital annually, with her wider family.

‘Her Majesty The Queen will be profoundly and very sadly missed by our community here at the Royal Hospital,’ Sir Bradshaw added. 

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