King admits he enjoys the ‘hardest challenges’ in the royal grand design show

The king has described himself as someone who enjoys taking on “the toughest challenges” when appearing in a television documentary in the style of royal Grand Designs.

His show, which has been going on for more than a decade, tells the story of Charles’s ambitious plan to restore the stately 18th-century Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland.

The King, then Prince of Wales, led a consortium that paid £45 million for the ruined estate in 2007 to save it from ruins and help regenerate the underserved local community.


Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland (Robert Perry/PA)

In A Royal Grand Design, which will air on ITV on Wednesday 30 November at 9pm, Charles describes the vast project as a “terrible risk”.

But he said it was worth it to help the local community, who suffered after the loss of the mining industry.

Along with the restoration of the main house, the initiative includes bringing the walled garden, one of Europe’s largest, back into operation, and the addition of an education and work center. garden, a cooking school, textile center, STEM unit and adventure playground, creating jobs in the process.

“I wanted to try and make a difference to the local area. It has many of the worst indicators of unemployment, ill health and everything else,” Charles said.

“I am one of those people who likes to take on the most difficult challenges. I felt it was worth taking this terrible risk and taking out such a large loan.”

He added: “The area has been devastated and destitute, especially since the loss of the mining industry and everything.”

The then-prince – filmed before becoming monarch – also raised his hopes for a similar project elsewhere in the UK in the future, saying he was inspired to help people and their families.


The Queen and Charles during a visit to Dumfries House in Cumnock in 2014 (Danny Lawson/PA)

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“That’s my problem, I’m too ambitious. I look forward to using this model in other parts of the country, where I know it can make a big impact on people’s lives and livelihoods as well as their entire future and their families, that’s important to me,” Charles said.

“I hope soon there will be another project somewhere, maybe quite large, and hopefully there will be other opportunities. We shall see. I haven’t given up yet… Observe this space, as they say.”

Charles ascended the throne following the death of the late Queen in September, and the broadcast was dedicated to Elizabeth II.

The footage includes footage of Charles showing his mother around the property when she opened the walled garden in 2014.

Narrated by actor Richard E Grant, the documentary is said to capture “the real man behind the crown”.

Charles was seen greeting a local and his dog, waving to visitors and trudging around the site in wet and windy weather.

He expressed fear that the 2,000-acre site, 27 miles south of Glasgow, would be turned into a golf club.


Charles with the ‘Old Fig Tree’ in the walled garden at Dumfries House earlier this year (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“I knew if we didn’t step in and save it, someone would buy it and say they had a great idea, you know for golf and everything and it would never work, so , it will be included in the list but more derelict country houses, he said.

Priceless Chippendale furniture and other antique treasures, saved from sale, kept indoors and restored.

Charles was also seen sharing his concern for the 300-year-old “Old Sycamore” tree in the garden when it appeared to be dying.

“I couldn’t stand it because it was such a wonderful thing,” he said.

But the tree survived and continued to grow, and Charles was relieved to call the change “remarkable”. King admits he enjoys the ‘hardest challenges’ in the royal grand design show

Fry Electronics Team

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