He would later tell his biographer Jonathan Dimbleby he did not feel he could 'look them in the eye' or wear the regiment's famous maroon beret and para wings unless he had completed the course.
As Colonel in Chief The Parachute Regiment, the prince regularly visits the regiment and takes a personal interest in supporting where he can bereaved families and the wounded.
With everyone seated around the parade ground at Merville Barracks all eyes looked to the sky as the Parachute Regiment freefall team - The Red Devils - fell to earth.
The seven men, who are all serving Paras, trailed red smoke behind them as they hurtled to the ground then adjusted their descent and landed gracefully around a target laid out on the ground.
They carried a commemorative flag as a present for the Prince and after making their parachutes safe presented the memento to Charles.
The Parachute Regiment - known as the Paras - is an elite airborne infantry regiment of the British Army.
The Prince of Wales has celebrated his 40th anniversary as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment by watching a spectacular Red Devils display.
Wearing his tropical service dress and the Paras maroon beret, Charles joined hundreds of families, friends and veterans at a military barracks in Colchester for a day of events.
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