King Charles III has been king for a little more than a year. His coronation occurred in May, but sadly, his reign began the same day his beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away last year. Since then, much has happened, and even though there have been many special events, some have argued that one in particular could have been a significant health risk.
In addition, many royal fans – and experts – have noticed something particular about King Charles’ hands over the years. His fingers appear to be swollen, with people even referring to them as “sausage fingers.”
The reason why the monarch’s fingers are swollen has not been revealed. Though, some people believe that there’s been a change in King Charles’ behavior after being bullied for the appearance of his fingers.
Over the years, King Charles hasn’t suffered from any significant health issues (if the reports are to be trusted). In recent years, however, speculation surrounding his fingers has left royal fans concerned that he may be living with a condition that the general public isn’t aware of.
Pictures of Charles’ red, swollen hands have spread across social media in the past, but the king has reportedly lived with oversized fingers for years. In 2012, while visiting Australia, he even joked about them, saying they were his “sausage fingers.”
King Charles’ “sausage fingers”
The king’s hands have been a talking point all his life. Even the late Queen Elizabeth once commented on her firstborn son’s hands, describing them as “interesting.”
“The baby is very sweet and we are enormously proud of him. He has an interesting pair of hands for a baby,” a letter from Elizabeth read.
“They are rather large, but with fine long fingers quite unlike mine and certainly unlike his father’s. It will be interesting to see what they become. I still find it hard to believe I have a baby of my own!”
Last year, Dr. Gareth Nye raised his concerns concerning King Charles’ swollen fingers.
Speaking with the Daily Star, Nye, Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, explained that while “loads of conditions” could lead to swollen fingers, some were more likely than others.
One possibility could be oedema or fluid retention, he said at the time.
“Oedema is a condition where the body starts to retain fluids in the limbs, normally the legs and ankles but also in the fingers, which causes them to swell,” Nye said. “Oedema is a common condition and mostly affects people over the age of 65 as the ability for fluid control is restricted.”
He added: “To see if this is the cause, pressing the swollen area for about 15 seconds would cause a depression in the area.”
What do King Charles’ fingers say about his health?
Moreover, the doctor said King Charles’ swollen fingers could also be a sign of arthritis, a common condition for people over 60. It commonly affects three main areas in the hand – the thumb joint or either joint in the fingers.
While Nye further explained that causes might include a high salt diet, blood pressure medication can also lead to swelling. Yet despite all possibilities, he states that King Charles’ “sausage fingers” are not a sign of a significant health issue for the newly announced British monarch.
“There certainly aren’t any immediate health concerns to be concluded from swollen fingers and is most likely a sign of his age,” Dr. Gareth Nye told the Daily Star.
As King Charles and Queen Camilla visited Berlin earlier this year, pictures of the monarch showed a worrying issue. It seemed like his “sausage fingers” had become increasingly swollen.
This was commented on by Nye, who, in an interview with The Daily Star, concluded that the monarch’s condition has changed and might even be worsening.
Yet, while King Charles’ fingers have looked like this for a long time, Dr. Gareth Nye ruled out two previous theories he issued regarding the king’s condition.
“Previous suggestions for the possible causes away from his anatomy included oedema, where fluid leaks out of the blood and stays within the tissues nearby, leading to a swollen appearance,” Nye told the Daily Star.
“Can limit movement”
As Nye believes King Charles’ fingers have gotten worse, he said that the oedema is not likely anymore. Moreover, he doesn’t believe gout, a common form of inflammatory arthritis, is to blame.
“Although gout does impact on the hands and is a condition where small crystals formed of uric acid develop in the space between joints leading to pain, redness, and swelling, this condition normally impacts individual joints,” Nye said.
“The images here suggest the whole hand is involved, which doesn’t agree with the diagnosis of gout.”
“The most likely cause here is as it was six months ago and that King Charles is suffering with arthritis in the hands which seems to be worsening with time. Arthritis is an extremely common condition in people over 60 however can be extremely debilitating and can limit movement of the impacted joints.”
Dr. Gareth Nye continued: “Although treatments and medications can help the condition, ultimately, it will get worse over time. This is particularly true in joints that are used more frequently, which we can agree the hand is one. The condition most commonly associated with swollen fingers is Dactylitis which again is most commonly seen in those with arthritis.”
“Dactylitis is unique as the swelling remains even if the underlying inflammation is controlled, which is likely what we see here,” Nye concluded, adding that it’s important to point out that it isn’t a life-threatening condition.
Moreover, Nye believes King Charles is well aware of the causation behind his swollen fingers.
“Although this condition doesn’t lead me to believe anything sinister is underlying the King, it doesn’t mean the condition is something to be ignored, and I’m sure King Charles is fully aware of the cause of finger issues,” he told The Daily Star.
It has been some months since the last time King Charles’ “sausage fingers” became a thing in the media and among royal fans. But his fingers again hit the spotlight during his and Queen Camilla’s state visit to France a few weeks ago. While they looked increasingly more swollen, the fact that he showed his fingers was, according to many, a good thing.
King Charles bullied for “sausage fingers”
Why? The king has been getting harsh treatment leading up to the gala dinner in Paris.
The monarch has been roasted online since the 2012 Australian tour, where King Charles’ “sausage fingers” were mentioned for the first time. Sadly, it didn’t end when he took the throne in September last year. In fact, according to the NY Post, “sausage fingers” were the seventh most searched term on Google at one point earlier this year.
Before his coronation, new portraits were released fn King Charles and Queen Camilla. The king wore a simple pinstripe suit, while Camilla sported a blue dress. However, there was one detail many took as a sign that the king had noticed what people had to say about his fingers.
Charles seemed to make sure not to show his hands in front of the camera as he stood with his hands behind his back in one picture and another, with his hand in his pocket. Did King Charles hide the fingers because he had been bullied?
“Show us his hands coward,” one person tweeted, per NY Post.
“I want to abolish the monarchy but I do still feel bad that we have gang bullied a grown man into never showing his hands again,” another user wrote.
“I can’t believe Twitter has bullied the literal king into never showing his hands,” a third commented.
“We’re never seeing them again brother,” a fourth user said.
But as mentioned, during his state visit to Paris, King Charles had no problems showing off his hands. Meanwhile, it appeared that his fingers were getting increasingly swollen, which became obvious after photos of him in a tuxedo were released.
King Charles’ “sausage fingers” runs in the family
Charles’ fingers appear to have been that way for many decades. In the 1980s, when Prince William was born, Charles reportedly wrote about it in a letter to a friend.
It appears it runs in the family. However, we haven’t seen the same development regarding WIlliam’s fingers… Yet.
“I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am. He really does look surprisingly appetizing and has sausage fingers just like mine,” King Charles is quoted saying in the Howard Hodgson biography Charles, The Man Who Will Be King.
While the king’s “sausage fingers” have been in the spotlight, another body part has gotten the same attention.
It’s been revealed that King Charles also has similarly swollen toes, according to Dr. Gareth Nye. Only a few pictures have been taken of Charles where his bare feet can be seen. One is from when he visited a Sikh temple in New Delhi, India, back in November 2019. As it turns out, however, his feet have been swollen for quite some time – there was already evidence to suggest this back in 2006.
Dr. Nye further said that the cause of the swelling depends on whether it is acute or chronic. That means if it develops suddenly and lasts a short period or develops gradually over an extended time. In Charles’ case, the latter seems more likely.
King Charles “sausage toes” could mean health risk
“Most women will be aware of leg and feet swelling during pregnancy, particularly during episodes of preeclampsia, and that remains one of the leading causes,” Dr. Nye said. “Clearly, we need to think differently here – acute swelling could indicate deep vein thrombosis or kidney disease.
“If this is chronic, we could be looking at cardiovascular issues like heart failure, kidney disease or liver disease.”
Dr. Nye continued: “However, it may simply be due to either/both continuous sitting with the legs bent for long periods, which is common in older patients who sit for prolonged periods, or prolonged standing as older people have a harder time returning blood from the feet and legs when standing due to normal changes in the cardiovascular system.”
He concluded: “We may additionally be seeing arthritis impacting in the ankle which would also cause swelling like this.”
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