‘The suspense is killing me’: King Charles hopes Repair Shop magic can fix a Victorian clock

Entertainment

TV’s Repair Shop team found themselves under a new kind of pressure when fixing a 19th-century ceramic clock… because it belongs to the King

The show’s presenter Jay Blades and the team invited Charles to join them for an episode to mark the BBC’s centenary, when he was still the Prince of Wales.

In The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit, King Charles needs help with a bracket clock and a Wemyss Ware piece made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

He told them the damaged 19th-century ceramic piece fell over when someone was opening a window. “They didn’t own up,” he said.

Blades and the ceramics expert Kirsten Ramsay, the horologist Steve Fletcher and the furniture restorer Will Kirk set out to repair the clock and ceramics.

And before the results are unveiled, Charles asks the crew: “Have you sorted this? The suspense is killing me!”

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26 EDITORIAL USE ONLY King Charles III, then Prince of Wales with Jay Blades (left) during a special episode of The Repair Shop as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations. Issue date: Wednesday October 26, 2022.
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The big reveal: Is the clock back to its former glory?

In the episode, he also meets students from the Prince’s Foundation Building Craft Programme, a training initiative that teaches skills such as blacksmithing, masonry and wood carving, and he called the lack of vocational education in schools “a great tragedy”.

The King added: “Not everybody is designed for the academic.”

“I know from The Prince’s Trust, I have seen the difference we can make to people who have technical skills which we need all the time.

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“I think that’s been the biggest problem, sometimes that is forgotten. Apprenticeships are vital, but they just abandoned apprenticeships for some reason.

“It gives people intense satisfaction and reward.”

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26 EDITORIAL USE ONLY King Charles III, then Prince of Wales with Jay Blades (left) during a special episode of The Repair Shop as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations. Issue date: Wednesday October 26, 2022.
Image:
Charles was invited on to the centenary special when he was still Prince of Wales

‘I just love the tick-tock’

Speaking about his love of clocks, he added: “To me, I just love the sound, the tick-tock but also if they chime, that’s why I love grandfather clocks.

“I find it rather reassuring in a funny way, and they become really special parts of the house… the beating heart of it. So that’s why they matter to me.

“I’m afraid it is something I learnt from my grandmother, she had great fun putting a few together and trying to get them to chime at the same time in the dining room, which made it very enjoyable because everybody had to stop talking.”

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