Why does Prince Charles have swollen fingers?

Photos of the royal's 'swollen' digits sparked fan comments

Fingers may not immediately spring to mind when you think of Prince Charles, but surprisingly, the Queen's son's digits have caused quite the stir amongst royal fans in recent months.

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Speculation about the 73-year-old royal's fingers was ignited in 2021, when a photograph of him pulling a pint of beer during an engagement in South London gave fans a glimpse at his swollen hands. Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: "I've never noticed the hands of Prince Charles until this photo! Is he ok? They are so swollen."

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WATCH: Prince Charles' swollen fingers spark concern as he pulls pint

The future monarch has taken a lighthearted approach in the past, having jokingly referred to himself as having "sausage fingers" in a letter to a friend after Prince William was born.

He wrote: "I can't tell you how excited and proud I am. He really does look surprisingly appetising and has sausage fingers just like mine," as quoted in the biography Charles, The Man Who Will Be King by Howard Hodgson.

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In fact, Prince Charles' fingers and hands have since become some of the most Googled terms for the royal in the UK - but what is the cause for the apparent inflammation?

The royal has made light of his swollen fingers in the past

Prince Charles' swollen fingers could be a result of many things, from temporary fluid retention, or a sudden change in temperature to arthritis.

Arthritis is a disease that affects the tissues of your joints. The chronic inflammatory disease causes the joint lining to swell, causing pain, stiffness and loss of function.

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According to the NHS, other symptoms can include warm red skin over the affected joint as well as weakness and muscle wasting. There is no cure for arthritis, though medication and physiotherapy can help alleviate the symptoms.

Though it's not confirmed the Prince of Wales suffers from a form of arthritis, other royal fans have noticed his hands appear particularly swollen when he travels abroad to warmer climates.

The royal may suffer from an inflammatory joint condition

According to Cornwall Live, Prince Charles himself is reported to have also made reference to his enlarged digits during a trip to Australia in 2012, dubbing them his "sausage fingers" after hours of flying to the tropical climate.

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The symptom of "sausage fingers" is actually linked to Dactylitis, a secondary disease that can be caused by a number of conditions and infections, most commonly psoriatic arthritis.

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