His Majesty The King has been one of a number of royal visitors to come to Royal Star & Garter during its 107-year history.
Prince Charles, as he was then known, came to the charity’s former Richmond Home in 1982.
Several members of the Royal Family visited the historic Home, on Richmond Hill, and in later years the royal visits have continued with the charity’s President, Princess Alexandra, coming to new Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe.
Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia.
Here is a look at some of the times members of the Royal Family have been welcomed to Royal Star & Garter.
The charity had been formed just one year earlier, when Queen Mary expressed concern for the severely injured men returning from First World War battlegrounds. She charged the British Red Cross Society with finding a ‘permanent haven’ for severely disabled young men returning from war. Residents first moved into the old Star & Garter Hotel on Richmond Hill, and were visited by The Queen and her daughter, Princess Mary of York, in 1917.
It soon became clear that the Star & Garter Hotel was not fit for purpose, so work began on building a new Home on the site. In 1924, the magnificent building was opened by King George V and Queen Mary.
This year saw two Royal visits. King George V returned to the Home, before the Duchess of York, later The Queen and The Queen Mother, attended the Exhibition and Sale of Work. The exhibition saw residents sell handicrafts that they had made.
The Queen Mother was back at the Home in 1952, to open the annual Exhibition and Sale of Work, which was usually opened by a member of the Royal Family. In this year, she was accompanied by her younger daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret.
The late Queen, who became our Patron in 1953 following the death of her grandmother Queen Mary, made her first visit to the Home as monarch in 1958. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II would make three more visits to the Home – in 1971, 1978 and 1989. She continued to show genuine interest and support to Royal Star & Garter throughout her life, and in 2016, congratulated the charity on its centenary anniversary.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip visited the Home on Exhibition Day 1972. He was welcomed to the Home by Chairman of the Governors, Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Caspar John.
The future King visited the Home in 1982, where he chatted and shared jokes with residents. During his visit, Prince Charles also shared memories of his time in the Armed Forces with veterans.
Diana, Princess of Wales, visited the Richmond Home in September 1991. She was greeted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Richmond and presented with a posy by one of the staff nurses. She visited every ward, and it is reported she spoke to every resident in the Home.
Her Royal Highness became our President in 1964. She was a regular visitor to the Richmond Home, and later to the newer Royal Star & Garter Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe.
Royal Star & Garter is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, go to www.starandgarter.org