Kings Charles has been accused of hiding his hands in photos to avoid being mocked for his “sausage fingers”.
The monarch has released a new set of official portraits of himself and Queen Camilla ahead of the Coronation on Saturday.
It shows the 74-year-old royal standing with his arms behind his back standing beside his wife in a blue dress. Another photo shows the King with one hand in his pocket.
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Scores of Brits have clocked that the sovereign appears to be subtly hiding his hands for the snaps Since he took the throne last September images of his puffy hands – which he jokingly described as his “sausage fingers” during a 2012 Australian tour – swept across the internet.
At one point earlier this year "The King's sausage fingers" was the 7th most searched term on Google
Social media users have pointed out his fingers have not been on show during official photos.
Retweeting the image one Twitter user said “show us his hands, cowards” and another commented “we’re never seeing them again brother”.
Another Brit said: “I can’t believe Twitter has bullied the literal king into never showing his hands.”
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King Charles has never publicly addressed the reason for the swelling.
Swollen fingers could be due to a number of health concerns, or water retention.
Several conditions including oedema or arthritis could be responsible.
Other causes could be high blood pressure, or a high salt diet.
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Adding authority to the debate, Dr Gareth Nye, Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, has spoken to the Daily Star to offer some expert advice on what the King's swollen fingers could really say about his health.
He said that while "loads of conditions" could lead to swollen fingers, he said some were more likely than others.
One possibility was oedema, or fluid retention. Dr Nye said: "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.
"Oedema is a common condition and mostly affects people over the age of 65 as the ability for fluid control is restricted," he added.
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"To see if this is the cause, pressing the swollen area for about 15 seconds would cause a depression in the area."
Another condition Dr Nye said was a possibility was arthritis.
He said: "Arthritis- another common condition in the over 60s. It often affects three main areas in the hand – the thumb joint or either joints in the fingers.
Buckingham Palace has been contacted for comment.
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