The Royal Hospital was founded by King Charles II in 1682 as a retreat for veterans. It is a retirement home and nursing home for some 300 British soldiers who are unfit for further duty due to injury or old age, located on Royal Hospital Road. It is a true hospital in the original sense of the word – that is, a place where hospitality was provided. The residents in the Royal Hospital are referred to as "in-pensioners" or, more colloquially, as Chelsea Pensioners. Upon arrival at the Royal Hospital, each Chelsea Pensioner is given a "berth" in a ward, a small room (9 feet x 9 feet) on a long corridor, and is allocated to a company. Chelsea Pensioners surrender their army pension, in return receiving board, lodging, clothing and full medical care. On special occasions they wear scarlet tunics and black tricorn hats.
Friends and family, including her children Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher, attended the short service in the hospital’s All Saints chapel in the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary, which the former Prime Minister opened in 2009.
A solid oak casket containing her ashes was placed in the earth outside the infirmary and Sir Mark and Carol took turns to place a single red rose by the casket.
Service: Chelsea Pensioners formed a guard of honour as Baroness Thatcher's ashes were laid to rest in the cemetery of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea
Family: Carol Thatcher (left) and Sir Mark Thatcher (right) each hold a red rose before placing it with the ashes of their mother at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, as her ashes are laid to rest in the grounds
Lady Thatcher's ashes were yesterday laid to rest alongside those of her husband, Sir Denis, outside the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, west London
A memorial stone bearing the simple inscription ‘Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013’ was then laid.
Lady Thatcher had long been a supporter of the London hospital and had requested her ashes be interred there.
Twelve Chelsea Pensioners dressed in their distinctive scarlet coats formed a guard of honour as her remains were placed alongside those of her husband Sir Denis, who died in 2003.
Lady Thatcher and Sir Denis used to visit the grounds every Sunday.
Among the small group of mourners were her former private secretary Lord Powell and Lord Bell, the PR guru.
Resting place: A rose lays on the memorial stone bearing the simple inscription 'Margaret Thatcher 1925 - 2013'
Laid to rest: Chelsea Pensioners formed a guard of honour as her ashes were placed alongside those of her husband Sir Denis
Interment: Reverend Richard Whittington (right) reads a short address during the interment of the ashes of Lady Thatcher
Lady Thatcher, who served as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, died on April 8, aged 87.
Thousands of people lined the streets of London to watch her funeral procession, which was accorded full military honours and attended by the Queen.
A private cremation was later held at Mortlake Crematorium in South-West London.
Yesterday’s ceremony, in contrast, was a brief and informal occasion, which had not been announced in advance.
The cover of the order of service (left) for the interment of the the ashes of former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher. The Reverend Richard Whittington (right) carries an oak casket with the ashes of Lady Thatcher, followed by (left to right) her daughter Carol, son Sir Mark and his wife Sarah
Prayers: The mourners - made up of only immediate family and close friends - comforted one another as hospital chaplain the Reverend Richard Whittington read prayers
Relationship: Lady Thatcher built up a strong relationship with the Royal Hospital Chelsea during the last 10 years of her life and her final resting place was down to her wishes
Lady Thatcher was the longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century
Carol Thatcher, wearing a cream-coloured jacket and large sunglasses, was seen comforting Cynthia Crawford, who was Lady Thatcher’s personal assistant for more than 30 years.
Music was provided by the chapel choir who sang Po Atarau, a Maori song of goodbye, in recognition of Lady Thatcher’s family connections with New Zealand.
David Cameron will today lead tributes to Lady Thatcher at the Conservative conference in Manchester.
Read more: Last guard of honour for Margaret Thatcher as her ashes are laid to rest at Royal Hospital in Chelsea - alongside her beloved Denis | Mail Online