King Charles’ ‘appalling risk’ explored in new TV special as he opens up about ‘rescue’ mission

King Charles is reportedly set to appear in a new documentary exploring a challenging project close to his heart...

King Charles' appalling risk" to be explored, seen here at a reception with staff, students, donors, the welfare team, and academic Fellows
(Image credit: Photo by Daniel Leal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

King Charles’ “appalling risk” is to be explored in a new TV special as he opens up about a major “rescue” mission. 


Unlike the late monarch who famously never gave interviews, the eldest of the Queen’s children, King Charles, has often shared fascinating insights in magazine pieces. In doing so, His Majesty has always been keen to shine a spotlight on the causes closest to his heart. Now King Charles’ “appalling risk” is set to be explored in a new TV special which will reportedly see His Majesty get candid about an immense “rescue” mission he was involved in 14 years ago.

Whilst King Charles currently resides in Clarence House and enjoys spending time at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, and Birkhall in Scotland, he also owns another beloved home he's intentionally never lived in at all. On November 30, ITV will air King Charles’ Green Grand Designs, which will reportedly explore the purchase and restoration of the 18th century stately home, Dumfries House, in Ayrshire.  

The house & grounds of Dumfries House

(Image credit: Photo by Emily Macinnes for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Bought in 2007 by a consortium headed by the then-Prince Charles with £20 million from his own charitable foundation and brokering a final deal of £45 million to secure both the house and furniture, he described this move as an “appalling risk”. The film has been a decade in the making, following the process to transform the dilapidated property to save it from ruin and is narrated by Richard E. Grant.

According to OK! (opens in new tab), King Charles explains to viewers, “I knew if we hadn’t stepped in and saved it, somebody would have bought it and said they had a great idea, you know for golf courses and things and it would never have worked, so, it would have joined the list of yet more derelict country houses.”

A man checks the windows in the north drawing room at Dumfries House

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

He continued, “The buildings we’ve built, a lot of them have been done by students, live build, learning. Sustainability, all of that agenda is critical here because there’s a lot of engineering skills, for instance, we are trying to help develop, working on the STEM educational side and the vocational side in order to make this area as a great example of how you can create new businesses and jobs in the green economy.”

The restoration of Dumfries House and its estate was a major undertaking for The Prince’s Foundation. Reflecting elsewhere in the programme, His Majesty reportedly shared exactly why it was so important to him to give Dumfries House a new lease of life and “rescue” it. 

“I wanted to rescue the house, because it is of such importance, I knew it was a very deprived area,” he says. “I wanted to use it as a proper example of what I’ve always believed in, which is heritage-led regeneration. And trying to show people that it works.”

King Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton during a visit to Dumfries House

(Image credit: Photo by DANNY LAWSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

During the documentary, King Charles is said to be seen helping the lead garden designer to plant trees in the wall garden  as well as going through their visions and drawings. Fans will get to learn how they saved pieces of antique furniture as well as His Majesty’s plans to include an outdoor adventure center, artists’ studio, teaching farm and horticultural and education center at Dumfries House. 

In a sweet moment, the programme will also reportedly show the King giving the late Queen as well as Prince William a tour. Fans can enjoy watching King Charles’ “appalling risk” turn into a restoration success on November 30. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.