After a glut of shows celebrating the Queen's jubilee, including a saccharine and un-revealing documentary about Prince William's relationship with his dearly departed Mummy, along comes more PR for the HRHs in Prince Charles: The Royal Restoration (Prime TV, 7.30pm, Thursday).
Touted as the story of one man trying to confound his critics over his restoration of Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland, a reality TV plot angle was applied to this programme with the prince's borrowing of a hefty 20 million quid to not only restore the house and its collection of Chippendales - of the wooden variety, not the stripping - but to build a housing project to kick-start the local economy.
The prince had stepped in after the seventh Marquis of Bute had ordered the trucks to pick up the priceless furniture at Dumfries House which was on its way to Christie's when, by royal command, the delivery was intercepted.
Shortly after the prince obtained the loan, secured by his charitable foundation, the banking crisis struck, plunging the economy into recession and causing the royal to "wake up in the middle of the night thinking, 'help'!".
The prince, looking a fit and healthy monarch-in-waiting, had a voice that sounded almost phone-sexy, as if he'd been up all night smoking cigars and drinking whisky as he allowed himself to be interviewed sympathetically by the gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh.
According to Titchmarsh, no modern royal had ever "attempted anything quite so ambitious" as we heard about the restoration of a walled garden, a saw mill to teach traditional building skills, and an overall radical development with the prince's trademark strong environmental credentials.
On the payroll, and hired to help with the building estate and Dumfries House and its accompanying guest houses, was Prince Charles' sister-in-law Annabel Elliot, an interior designer, rather less weathered looking than her royal sister.
Like other contractors working on the projects, Elliot testified to Charles' very hands-on approach and extraordinary eye for detail, which included an insistence on loose floor rugs and a deep loathing of large flatscreen TVs and duvets.
Apparently the prince was no pushover on matters of style so, during the big reveal during his tours of inspection, I waited to hear him voice his objections to the kind of overcooked plush interiors you see proliferating in British house transformation shows on the Living Channel, but none was forthcoming.
To give him his due, the common touch he exuded while dealing with the locals would have given his former wife, Diana the Queen of Hearts, a run for her money.
A Down syndrome lad who had been toiling hard helping to clear the walled garden was lapping up princely praise for his efforts, encouraging the little battler to assure the royal in fervent feudal tones that he would not cease his gardening efforts - "till I'm dead".
Milling about with a collection of local small fry, Charles pointed to the film crew's fluffy microphone cover, asking: "Have you seen this thing? (prodding at it in delight). We washed it this morning specially."
As the weeks and months wore on, various newspaper headlines splashed across the screen with dire predictions of the prince's project straying further into the fiscal cactus.
Fortunately he managed to get other parties on board, a sheikh, and a further half mill from the Rausing family of the TetraPak fortune.
Like countless kings and princes before him Charles was traditionally building a legacy for, among other subjects, his mokopuna - apparently his children had shown little interest in the project.
The thought of being carpeted by his grandchildren and asked why he hadn't "done something" further down the environmentally traduced track was unendurable to HRH.
Instead he was doing his Block, as in his version of The Block (TV3) in order to leave something more than a pile of dead flatscreen TVs behind.
- © Fairfax NZ News