Chelsea Pensioners stood proudly in their iconic scarlet uniforms today (August 4) as they set off on a car parade through London to mark the First World War centenary.

About 100 veterans were driven to the Imperial War Museum in 50 Edwardian cars from the Royal Hospital Chelsea this morning as part of the Great War Centenary Parade.

Shortly after breakfast they were joined by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent who were also driven in one of the cars which date from 1912 to 1916.

They were driven from the Royal Hospital up to Parliament Square, past the Cenotaph in Whitehall and across Westminster Bridge to the museum then will be driven back this afternoon.

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Thomas Mullaney, 81, has been a Chelsea Pensioner for six years. He said: "I've never really been in one of these types of cars so it's quite exciting. Today is a nice change and we'll more than likely meet old friends who've come to mark 100 years since the start of World War One.

"I joined the army aged 17 in 1950 so missed the Second World War but fought in places like Malaya, Afghanistan and Cyprus. My father was a miner in Liverpool so he didn't have to fight in World War One because mining was a reserved occupation, which many people probably don't know.

"I've been assigned to go in a really old car so hopefully it doesn't break down!"

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The cars, which range from Wolesleys and London Talbots to Fords and Rolls Royces, were driven up from Brooklands Motor Museum in Surrey this morning.

Philip Strickland, chairman of the Brooklands Trust Members, said: "All the owners drove the cars up this morning and it wasn't too bad. Their maximum speed is 40mph so in the traffic they were keeping up with modern cars.

"It was quite a feat to get them all together but Nick Pellet organised it all and found that the owners were very keen to be apart of such a great parade."

Nine Chelsea Pensioners - including Dorothy Hughes who was the first female army veteran allowed at the Royal Hospital in 2009 - will attend a vigil in Westminster Abbey this evening alongside the Duchess of Cornwall.

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