Home / Royal Mail / King Charles is known for his sausage fingers – and the complaint appears to run in the family

King Charles is known for his sausage fingers – and the complaint appears to run in the family

Since ascending the throne last September, King Charles’ fingers have gained an unexpected amount of attention.

In fact, his puffy digits – which he has previously described as ‘sausage fingers’ – have gone viral, and were at one point seventh on Google’s most searched list. 

The King has been pictured with swollen-looking hands and feet many times, noticeably after long periods spent flying or travelling to hot countries.

He was also seen with painfully swollen hands and feet during the first day of his royal tour in India in 2019 when he removed his shoes to step into a Sikh temple in New Delhi.

Observers also pointed out the royals’ swollen hands while he sipped a pint in The Prince of Wales pub in Clapham Old Town in 2021.  

The king (pictured) has garnered a huge amount of attention since ascending the throne for his self-described ‘sausage fingers’

Queen writes to her music teacher about Charles’s hands 

While the monarch’s hands have been thrust into the spotlight since he ascended the throne, they have long been a noticeable feature on King Charles’s body – and were even mentioned when he was a child.

His late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, famously noted that her firstborn had large digits when he was a mere baby.

And his large hands were a feature the Queen described in a letter to her music teacher after Charles had been born.

She wrote: ‘The baby is very sweet and we are enormously proud of him. He has an interesting pair of hands for a baby. 

‘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.’

When Prince William (pictured) was born, in a letter to a friend, the then-Prince Charles wrote: 'he has sausage fingers just like mine'

When Prince William (pictured) was born, in a letter to a friend, the then-Prince Charles wrote: ‘he has sausage fingers just like mine’ 

Charles’s comments on Prince William’s hands

While the king is certainly the royal with the most notably sausage-like digits, his are not the only sizeable fingers.

In fact, it seems he passed the chunky extremities onto his eldest son, something he commented on when the heir apparent was just a baby. 

When the now-monarch wrote a letter to a friend about his newborn son, Prince William, he mentioned his puffy hands.

‘I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am,’ he wrote, as quoted in Charles, The Man Who Will Be King by Howard Hodgson.  

‘He really does look surprisingly appetising and has sausage fingers just like mine.’ 

Like his older brother, Prince Andrew (pictured) also has fingers that are on the chunkier side, and they have been at the centre of a controversy

Like his older brother, Prince Andrew (pictured) also has fingers that are on the chunkier side, and they have been at the centre of a controversy

Prince Andrew’s allies have insisted THAT photo is a fake 

Another royal with fingers on the chunkier side is Prince Andrew.

While his digits have not garnered as much attention as the King’s, they have been at the centre of a strange conversation.

When a photograph showing Prince Andrew with his accuser Virginia Giuffre was published, fans of the royal insisted it has been doctored, and that it is a fake.

And one of the reasons they gave for believing this relates to the royal’s fingers. 

The photograph, said to have been taken in 2001, shows Andrew with her hand around Ms Giuffre’s waist next to a laughing Maxwell. 

It was first published by The Mail on Sunday in 2011 after the newspaper found Ms Giuffre living in a small bungalow in New South Wales, Australia. She is said to have given the original to FBI investigators in 2011. 

Andrew and his allies aired a series of theories to suggest the photo is a fake – with one being that his fingers in the snap ‘aren’t chubby enough’.

The Duke of York’s friends have previously raised doubts over the veracity of the photo by claiming the hand around Ms Giuffre’s waist ‘doesn’t look right’ and suggesting he looks too small.

A source told the London Evening Standard: ‘Look at his fingers in the photo. The duke has quite chubby fingers – they don’t look right and nor does the height of the duke and the girl.’

The monarch's swollen hands were on full show last week when he toasted French President Emmanuel Macron during a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles

The monarch’s swollen hands were on full show last week when he toasted French President Emmanuel Macron during a state banquet at the Palace of Versailles

What causes ‘sausage fingers’?

While royal fans have expressed concern over the appearance of the King’s hands, he has not confirmed the reason for the swelling. 

According to a doctor, swollen fingers could be due to a number of health concerns, or could be the result of water retention, or simply old age.

Several conditions including oedema or arthritis could be responsible. Other causes could be high blood pressure, or a high salt diet.

Oedema is a condition where the body starts to retain fluids in the limbs, causing them to swell – and it can also occur in the fingers.

Men are less likely than women to suffer from oedema. This is because the female hormone progesterone tends to cause the condition, leaving some women with puffy ankles just before their period. Older people develop the disorder if they sit for long periods of time.

However, it could be a result of arthritis, which is a common condition in the over 60s and affects the thumb joint and the joints in the fingers.  Fingers usually become stiff, painful and swollen and although medication can help with the pain, the swelling can remain.


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