It was a case of scraped knuckles and a cement-splattered suit as Prince Charles got stuck into a spot of bricklaying on a visit to one of his low energy eco-home schemes on Thursday.
Hefting a special thermal block marked with his heraldic emblem for the occasion, the Prince - dressed in a high-visibility jacket and hard hat - deftly manoeuvred it into place. The grimace on his face as he did so may have had as much to do with the pressure the block placed on cuts on his hand - believed to have occurred while tending plants at Highgrove - as the weight of the brick itself.
Charles seemed to relish the chance to be involved in a hands-on way, however, and even the cement stain he picked up on the leg of his trousers didn't phase him. "Does it come off?" he asked the manager wtih a laugh.
The Prince was visiting the Building Research Establishment's Innovation Park in Watford to check out the progress on an eco-home designed by his own Foundation for the Built Environment
Photo: ę Alpha