A rigorous experience: King Charles' time spent at one of Australia's most challenging schools

The journey the King has taken through his life has probably helped shape the monarch he is and the reign he will enjoy, as US Correspondent Dan Rivers reports

King Charles III will be crowned this Saturday at the age of 74 - and he has a lifetime of memories to look back on.

One of the lesser-known stories from Charles' adolescence centres on the two terms he spent at Geelong Grammar School's Timbertop Campus - a rigorous experience in the mountains of Victoria, south-east Australia.

In 1966, the future King embarked on an adventure in Australia, spending six months at Timbertop - one of the world's most challenging schools.

For decades pupils there have been put through their paces, hiking and developing self-sufficiency - a tradition that carries through to this day.

Those who were there with the then Prince of Wales more than 50 years ago remember what a culture shock it must have been for him.

Jonathan Southey, a contemporary of the King from his time at Timbertop recalled to ITV News a story of how Charles showed leniency in the face of wanton rule-breaking.

He said: "I was having a cigarette in the boiler room one evening and Charles sprung me, he walked in.

"He looked taken back, dismayed and said 'Southey you should know better than that' and he confiscated the cigarette.

"And I fully expected that Charles would report me to my master, but nothing happened. It humbles me to think of a memory where I've been spared in that manner by the King of England."

Jonathan Southey was a contemporary of the King's at Timbertop. Credit: ITV News

Charles Armytage, another contemporary of the King, spoke fondly of a memory where during one arduous hike, some of the Timbertop boys hitched a lift home, but not the King.

He said: "The truck driver stopped and waited till everyone got on and when he took off he looked back in the mirror and there was this lonely figure trudging up the hill, very tired and the driver yelled out to the rest of us [and] he said 'What's wrong with that bloke?'

"We said 'Don't worry too much about him, he'll be ok' and that was the future King of England."

Having to saw your own firewood might be a world away from King Charles' reality today, but there is no doubt he loved his time at Timbertop - a true immersion into the very best that Australia has to offer.

Listen to the latest episode of the Royal Rota podcast