Chelsea pensioners get festive

Britain’s Got Talent star helped to spread some festive cheer among the Chelsea Pensioners last week.

Charlotte Jaconelli was the surprise guest of honour at the 300 year old Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses. The tradition began in 1962 when the Royal Hospital Chelsea asked a local cheesemonger to provide the pensioners with cheese as a Christmas treat.

“It has been a great honour to meet some of the Chelsea Pensioners today and take part in this wonderful ceremony, paying tribute to these true British heroes. This is one of Britain’s loveliest Christmas traditions,” says Jaconelli.

A 24.75kg Montgomery Cheddar, donated by J A E Montgomery Ltd, was ceremonially cut by In-Pensioner Derek Walters BEM, aged 82.

“It is an honour to represent my fellow Chelsea Pensioners today – cheese has always been an important part of our diet and we are always happy to receive this delicious Christmas gift. The military is known for its traditions, but this is one of my favourites.”

The Dairy Council has supported the ceremony for 55 years. Sandy Wilkie, chairman of The Dairy Council, says, “The ceremony of the christmas cheeses is a much loved event in the dairy calendar – it is a colourful, and historical, way of celebrating our great British cheeses.

“It’s a great tradition. Every year cheesemakers from across the country pay tribute to the courage and contribution made by our war veterans by donating us lots of our tasty British cheeses, and we at The Dairy Council are very proud to play a part in that.

“It wasn’t just the Christmas cheese that put a smile on our faces. Charlotte Jaconelli did a wonderful job in bringing some festive spirit to our heroes today – her performance was truly beautiful.”


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