The Prince of Wales has warned the Army’s newest officers about a “cult of death and destruction” seducing “lost young people” as they passed out from Sandhurst.
He did not mention Islamic State by name in his speech to more than 130 senior officer cadets but his comments are likely to be interpreted as his assessment of the terrorist organisation.
The heir to the throne went on to tell the officers on parade that they would encounter trials “as great as any faced by our forebears” but he was confident they would rise to the challenge.
And he said the threat of those determined to “maim and kill” should be countered by a need to “understand and defuse” their “perverse determination”.
The prince told the officer cadets as they stood on a windswept parade ground in Camberley, Surrey: “You are receiving your commissions as officers at a moment when the profession of arms is moving into uncharted waters. Pillars of the international order are under challenge as never before in my lifetime.
“At the same time, a cult of death and destruction is defiling ancient lands and seducing a frightening number of lost young people.
“In the face of such challenges, Britain’s traditional qualities - fair play, civility, a sense of humour in adversity - remains as precious as they’ve always been.”
The heir to the throne went on to say: “The harder it becomes to stop people determined to maim and kill, the more urgent becomes our need to understand and defuse their perverse determination. To do so demands not just technology but human skill.”
He told the officer cadets and the hundreds of family and friends in stands over looking the parade ground: “I believe that there are men and women on parade today who will confront trials as great as any faced by our forebears who carried us through two world wars.
“I have every confidence that you will rise to the challenges that you will encounter, not only with the humbling courage they displayed, but with the courageous humility that success in our globalised world demands.”
Among those in the stands was tennis star Andy Murray’s pregnant wife Kim, who watched as her brother Scott Sears and his fellow officers paraded passed Charles first in slow then quick time.
Prince Charles represented the Queen at the Sovereign’s Parade, which formally marks the senior cadets’ completion of their commissioning course. When he first arrived the heir to the throne’s route was lined with Gurkha soldiers as the prince is Colonel in Chief of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.
Wearing his Army Field Marshal uniform, military medals and carrying a sword the heir to the throne was given a royal salute during the Sovereign’s Parade by the officer cadets on the windswept parade ground.
In front of the Prince of Wales were more than 140 men and women senior officer cadets from the UK, with more than 20 others from 18 overseas countries.
They were joined by more than 350 intermediate and junior cadets still to complete their training.
The heir to the throne has represented the Queen at the Sovereign’s Parade on three previous occasions 1978, 1989 and 1998.
After the ceremony Andy Murray’s wife Kim posed for pictures with her Army officer brother Scott. He was named in the official Sovereign’s Parade programme as a winner of the Commandant’s Merit Award, presented for exceptional achievement.