King Charles III has spent the past week meeting mourners across Great Britain following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II — and it appears to be taking a toll on his hands.
New photos show the 73-year-old monarch’s palms looking red, raw and chafed after seven straight days of shaking hands with citizens.
The snaps were taken in Cardiff, Wales, on Friday as the new king greeted fans outside Llandaff Cathedral following a “Service of Prayer and Reflection” for the late Queen.
It was the latest stop for Charles, who has already shaken hands with thousands of Brits in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland this week. The red-raw royal is likely using sanitizer to clean his grippers after the meet-and-greets, which would only further distress his skin.
A doctor subsequently weighed in on Charles’ chubby digits, claiming he could be suffering from arthritis.
“Fingers usually become stiff, painful and swollen and although medication can help with the pain, the swelling can remain,” Dr. Gareth Nye, senior lecturer at the University of Chester, told the Daily Star about the painful condition that causes inflammation and stiffness.
Nye also said the swollen fingers could indicate that the king is suffering from oedema.
“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,” the doc declared, saying it was a” common condition” that often affected people over the age of 65.
However, Nye said the sight of the king’s swollen hands shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
“There aren’t any immediate health concerns to be concluded from swollen fingers and is most likely a sign of his age,” he stated.
Charles himself has not yet addressed the frenzy surrounding his fingers — and fortunately, they appear to be working just fine.
Earlier this week, the royal went viral after signing the Accession Proclamation — marking his official ascension to the throne of the British Commonwealth —using his hands to furiously gesture at aids to clear the desk where he was to ink his name on the documents.