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Monday, February 6, 2023

King Charles says he is ‘frightfully over-ambitious’ and loves ‘difficult challenges’

King Charles says he is “frightfully over-ambitious” and loves tackling “the most difficult challenges”.

He makes the declarations in an upcoming 60-minute television documentary that has been more than 10 years in the making, which tells of the monarch’s plan to restore the 18th-century Dumfries House estate.

Charles started the project in 2007, when he led a consortium that paid £45 million for the run-down home to help regenerate the deprived community and create jobs.

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On Monday, Mail Online revealed that he says on “A Royal Grand Design”, due to be aired on ITV on November 30: “I wanted to try and make a difference to the local area. It had many of the worst indices of unemployment and ill health and everything else.

“I’m one of those people who rather likes taking on the most difficult challenges. I felt it was worth taking this appalling risk and taking out such a big loan.

“This area has been so battered and deprived, particularly since the loss of the mining industry and everything.”

The king added about hoping to try more restorations: “That’s my problem – I’m frightfully over ambitious. I long to use this model in other parts of the country where I know it can make a big impact on people’s lives and livelihoods and their whole future and their families’ futures, which is what matters to me.

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

Charles’s restoration included reviving the garden – one of the largest in Europe – as well as adding a horticultural and education centre, cookery school, textiles centre and adventure playground.

The king reveals on the show, narrated by the actor Richard E Grant, how he feared the 800 hectare estate near Glasgow would have been turned into a golf club.


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