The king claimed that “not all of them are designed for the academician” and called the lack of professional 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 unique episode to mark the BBC’s 100th anniversary when Charles was still the Prince of Wales.
In The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit, Charles needs help with an 18th-century mantel clock and a piece made for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee by British pottery maker Wemyss Ware.
He said the damaged 19th-century piece of pottery fell off when someone was opening a window – “they didn’t realize,” he joked.
Speaking of his love for watches, the royal added: “For me I just love the sound, the ticking but even if they ring, that’s why I love grandfather clocks.
“I find it quite reassuring in a fun way and they become really special parts of the house… the beating heart of it. That’s why they are important to me.
“I’m afraid it’s something I learned from my grandmother, she had a lot of fun putting a few together and trying to get them to play at the same time in the dining room which made it a lot of fun 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 blacksmith, stonemason, and wood carving.
The monarch said: “I still think the great tragedy is the lack of professional education in the schools, actually not all of them are designed for the academic.
“I know from The Prince’s Trust, I’ve seen the difference we can make for people who have the technical skills we need at all times, I have the greatest admiration for people.
“I think it was the biggest problem, it gets forgotten sometimes. Apprenticeships are vital, but for some reason they have simply given up on apprenticeships.
“It gives people intense satisfaction and reward.”
Charles said the thing he “really loves” is the students who come back as tutors year after year – “filling in the school gaps,” he said.
Blades and pottery expert Kirsten Ramsay, watchmaker Steve Fletcher, and furniture restorer Will Kirk decided to repair the king’s clock and pottery in the episode.
Before the results are revealed, Charles asks the crew, “Have you solved it? The suspense is killing me. “
The monarch also lends Prince’s Foundation graduate Jeremy Cash to The Repair Shop to work with metalworking expert Dominic Chinea on a third object described as a soldier-shaped fire with a moving story behind its existence.
The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit will air Wednesday at 8pm on BBC One.