“Welcome to my home,” a Veteran at the Armed Forces Retirement Home said as he shook hands with Prince Charles on Thursday. Residents at the Washington, D.C. campus welcomed the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, as the royal couple visited one of the nation’s oldest residences for Veterans.
The Washington campus has been home to thousands of former enlisted and warrant officer Servicemembers since 1851. The buildings include historic quarters, President Lincoln’s Cottage and modern living areas for Veterans. Today, more than 400 Veterans call the D.C. campus home.
Arriving just after 10:15 a.m., Prince Charles and his wife briefly visited President Lincoln’s cottage, before spending most of their time with the Veterans on campus. They toured the art studio, wellness facilities, a ceramic and woodworking workshop, as well as the facility’s bowling alley. Vietnam Veteran Michael Martinez talked with Prince Charles about how they both enjoy painting.
“We almost consider them our royal family, because we don’t have one,” Martinez, a Navy Veteran, told reporters after meeting Prince Charles.
The campus tour also included a stop at a display paying tribute to an international exchange program between the Armed Forces Retirement Home and the Royal Hospital of Chelsea. The royal couple saw a Chelsea pensioner’s uniform displayed side-by-side with a uniform from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
For photos from the visit, view the photo gallery put together by the Vantage Point team.