HRH the Prince of Wales was in Cirencester today to present graduates from the Royal Agricultural University with their degrees.

The ceremony took place in St. John the Baptist’s Church in Market Place and was attended by the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff and local councillors among others.

The Prince of Wales followed the academic procession into the church and presided over the ceremony. He then presented degrees to students from the School of Agriculture, Food and Environment and gave a short address. He has been President of the Royal Agricultural University since 1982.

“Some of the most fundamental challenges that face us in the modern day need to be solved by those in agriculture,” he said.

“Nature’s life support is being pushed so far and maintaining nature’s capacity to sustain us is no mean feat.

“Rural land management is not just another industry; you are becoming custodians of our most precious natural asset.

“My warmest congratulations to you all.”

The Principal of the University, Professor Chris Gaskell, spoke before HRH and paid tribute to the universities links with Cirencester.

“This is the third year we have held this ceremony here in this magnificent church,” he said.

“We have been part of Cirencester for a long time. We’ve lived here for 170 years now and we value the town as much as it values us.

“I hope those graduating today feel like the university has provided them with a solid foundation and the skills they require to enter the world of work.

“We wish you every success in the future and careers. Bon voyage.”

Destiny Bradley graduated today with a Bsc Honours degree in Agriculture.

“It was amazing having Prince Charles there,” she said. “It was a beautiful ceremony; it made it all feel very real.

“My goal is to go on and do a PhD which the university has prepared me well for.”

Antonio Rafael was another of the graduates who enjoyed the ceremony. He leaves university with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

“It was a very nice and well organised ceremony; a pleasure to be a part of,” he said.

“It’s the first time I’ve attended a ceremony like this. It’s all quite amusing to me.

“Without this course I wouldn’t have got my job working as a National Officer for market access for the World Food Program.”