King Charles' 'sausage fingers' explained as royal returns to work

King Charles is returning to work today after taking some time off from his royal duties due to being diagnosed with cancer.

And as he makes his way back into the public eye, many will notice his swollen "sausage fingers", which the monarch has previously himself poked fun at for the condition in a documentary.

The King was filmed joking about his fingers alongside his son, Prince William, during rehearsals for his coronation last year as part of the BBC documentary Charles III: The Coronation Year, writes The Mirror.

In a clip from the BBC documentary, the Prince of Wales was seen closing a small clasp that held a lavish robe around his father, and made the monarch laugh when he said: "On the day, that's not going to go in." In response, King Charles joked back: "No, you haven't got sausage fingers like mine."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the 70th Anniversary of VE Day at Westminster Abbey on May 10, 2015 in London, England.
The King has poked fun at his "sausage fingers" in a BBC documentary -Credit:Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In the past, many have questioned why Charles' hands are so swollen and GP Chun Tang, Medical Director at Pall Mall Medical in Manchester, has since shed some light on the subject as he previously listed the many reasons why this may have happened.

Dr Tang told the Daily Mail: "Often puffy fingers are a symptom of water retention which can be caused by numerous health conditions. This condition arises due to inflammation and can be a result of arthritis, multiple bacterial infections or even TB. Other possibilities include high salt levels, allergic reactions, medicinal side effects, injury and autoimmune disease."

The technical term for 'sausage fingers' is dactylitis which is a medical term for severe swelling that affects your fingers and toes.

After King Charles welcomed his son Prince William, he reportedly penned a letter to his friend, quoted in Charles, The Man Who Will Be King by Howard Hodgson, saying: "I can't tell you how excited and proud I am. He really does look surprisingly appetising and has sausage fingers just like mine."

The Queen also noted the size of Charles' hands previously, reportedly writing a letter to her music teacher after he was born: "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."

During his momentous Coronation, questions about the King's swollen digits resurfaced, as some wondered whether the monarch was only wearing one glove as part of the ceremony owing to his hands. It turns out, however, that this was simply part of tradition. The King has never confirmed the cause of his swollen fingers.

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