King Charles III.

King Charles III.Getty

A new documentary, to air this week, "A Royal Grand Design" follows the United Kingdom's new monarch over a decade-long project to renovate Dumfries House, a Palladian country house in Ayrshire, Scotland.

King Charles III admitted during the documentary "A Royal Grand Design" that he took an "appalling risk" in deciding to renovate Dumfries stately home. The new ITV1 documentary follows the King as he attempts to save the mansion, now owned by The Prince's Foundation, will an aim to regenerate the local community. 

In the documentary's trailer, King Charles III explains why he chose to raise £45 million to restore the dilapidated estate. He said his reason to persevere is that "there are very, very few such houses left."

 "If we hadn't stepped in, saved it, all this wonderful [Thomas] Chippendale furniture would have literally gone everywhere and we would have been left with a completely empty shell of a house," he added.

"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 likes taking on the most difficult challenges. I felt it was worth taking this appalling risk and taking out such a big loan."

The Executive Producer of the documentary, Jim Brown, told the Radio Times that working with the King was "an incredible experience" and revealed that the Royal did sign off on every detail of the restoration project.

"When he was at Clarence House, he would receive weekly updates and plans for his approval," he said.

"I have heard him in many intimate, detailed discussions over the years with gardening experts, restoration experts, heritage experts, all in awe of the knowledge he possessed in their chosen field.

"This one project has dominated my professional life for more years than I ever thought possible – but what an absolute honour and privilege to have had so much access to the King,"

Dumfries House.

Dumfries House.

Brown also admitted that he wasn't sure, initially, how buying a larger house in the countryside would benefit the local community. However, now he realizes he's been proven wrong. 

"I remember [the King] saying to me 12 years ago: 'This is not about things; this is about people, people living in the most deprived area of the UK – people with very little future – very little to look forward to,'" he said.

"When we started filming in 2010, less than 15 people worked on the estate. When we wrapped in 2022, over 250 people were in full-time employment at Dumfries House.

"So, what surprised me the most over the years was the difference the King has made to people’s lives. He said it was about people and true to his word, the revitalization of the entire area has to be seen to be believed."

A Royal Grand Design airs on Wed Nov 30 at 9pm on ITV1.