Charles tells the repair shop that the lack of vocational schools is “a great tragedy”

King said ‘not everyone is made for academics’ and called the lack of vocational education in schools a ‘great tragedy’ during a special edition of The Repair Shop.

Presenter Jay Blades and the team visited Dumfries House in Scotland for a one-off episode to mark the BBC’s centenary filmed when Charles was still Prince of Wales.

In The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit, Charles needs help with an 18th-century bracket clock and a piece made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee by British ceramist Wemyss Ware.

He said the damaged 19th century ceramic piece fell off when someone opened a window – “they didn’t confess”, he joked.

Speaking about his love of clocks, the royal added: “For me, I just love the sound, the ticking but also if they chime, that’s why I love grandfather clocks.

“I find it kind of reassuring in a fun way and they become really special parts of the house… the beating heart of it. That’s why they matter to me.

“I’m afraid it was something I learned from my grandma, she had a lot of fun putting a few together and trying to ring them at the same time in the dining room, which made it very enjoyable because everyone had to stop talking.”

In the episode, Charles meets students from the Prince’s Foundation Building Craft Program – a training initiative that teaches traditional skills such as blacksmithing, stone carving, and woodcarving.

The King meets watchmaker Steve Fletcher

The King meets watchmaker Steve Fletcher at The Repair Shop (Ian West/PA)

The monarch said: “I still think the big tragedy is the lack of vocational education in schools, in fact not everyone is designed for the academic.

“I know from The Prince’s Trust, I’ve seen the difference we can make for people who have technical skills that we need all the time, I have the greatest admiration for people.

“I think that’s the biggest problem, sometimes we forget that. The apprenticeships are essential, but they just gave up on the apprenticeships for some reason.

“It gives people intense satisfaction and reward.”

Charles said what he “really likes” are the students who come back as tutors year after year – “filling in the gaps in the school”, he said.

King Charles and Jay Blades

The King and Jay Blades (Ian West/PA)

Blade and ceramics expert Kirsten Ramsay, clockmaker Steve Fletcher, and furniture restorer Will Kirk set out to repair the King’s clock and ceramics in the episode.

Before the results are revealed, Charles asks the crew: “Did you fix that? The suspense kills me.

The monarch is also loaning Prince’s Foundation graduate Jeremy Cash to The Repair Shop to work with metallurgy expert Dominic Chinea on a third object described as a fire in the form of a soldier with a harrowing story behind its existence.

The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on BBC One.

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