Today, members of our Armed Forces are still taking extraordinary risks on our behalf around the globe, and the need for this remarkable institution in the coming years is assured.

My wife and I are delighted to be part of this very special day in the truly magnificent surroundings of the Royal Hospital. For over 300 years Founder's Day has celebrated King Charles II's pivotal role in establishing a refuge for the veterans of the British Army, and today the Hospital continues to give Chelsea Pensioners first class care and support in their retirement.

In this 60th Anniversary year of the end of the Second World War, we are once again reminded of the huge sacrifice made on our behalf by so many veterans between 1939 and 1945. Indeed, it is worth noting that during the War this Hospital was bombed and suffered its own losses, once more putting those who had served in previous conflicts and wars in the firing line.

My Grandfather, the late King George VI, who inspected this parade in 1942, paid tribute to wartime Pensioners at the Hospital and their gallant behaviour in the face of enemy action. So as we commemorate the end of the Second World War, our debt to those who served with such distinction to help rid the World of tyranny is as great as ever.

Today, members of our Armed Forces are still taking extraordinary risks on our behalf around the globe, and the need for this remarkable institution in the coming years is assured.

The Pensioners at The Royal Hospital continue to represent the enduring qualities of Service-life: duty, discipline and, above all, self-sacrifice.

As always, the turn-out and standard of the parade is nothing short of remarkable, and it is an enormous pleasure to see so many Pensioners today from so many different regiments, including my own ones, and with such a vast array of medals from a multitude of campaigns over the last 80 years. I also note, with pride and enormous congratulations, that the oldest Pensioner on parade today celebrated his 100th birthday just two weeks ago . . .

Resplendent in your scarlet uniforms, you are a constant reminder of the debt we owe to those who have served this Nation over the years. We salute you and wish you health and continued happiness in this illustrious and historic Hospital.