Wednesday, 16 July 2014

You've immortalised me in paint! The First Lady Chelsea Pensioner Win Phillips is delighted with my portrait of her, now hanging in The Royal Hospital, Chelsea

It was great to catch up recently with Win Phillips recently at The Royal Hospital Founder's Day parade.
Win sat to me for her portrait which now hangs in the Royal Hospital so she has a conversation with her 'double' frequently!

The Hospital was founded by Charles II in 1682, for veterans of wars, and Founder's Day takes place every year close to his birthday, 29 May, and by coincidence also the date of his Restoration as King in 1660.

On arrival guests are given a sprig of Oak Leaves to commemorate Charles's deliverance from the Parliamentarians after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester, when he hid in an oak tree.  I painted an oak tree into Win's portrait as a visual symbol of the continuation of protection and care The Royal Hospital affords it's 300 or so pensioners, which thanks to Win's efforts now includes lady pensioners.

We had a fantastic view of the traditional ceremony as we were centrally placed in the stand near Grinling Gibbons statue of the King, dazzlingly re-gilded in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.

Win's piercing blue eyes were ablaze with fun as we enjoyed an aperitif or two afterwards in celebration of the event!

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