A doctor has weighed in after the internet exploded with speculation over King Charles III's red and swollen fingers.
Dr Gareth Nye has spoken out on Charles's hands following the death of the monarch's mother Queen Elizabeth II.
Images of the new ruler's hands have been circulating online since the Queen passed away yesterday (Thursday, September 8), aged 96 at her residence in Balmoral.
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The Queen's advanced age when she passed meant that her son and heir Charles was far from a young man when he ascended to the throne aged 73.
Taking to Twitter, user @Anaiishhh1said: "Have y’all ever seen Charles’s fingers".
Meanwhile, @leahgaraas added: "A reminder that these are King Charles III’s fingers".
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.
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"Oedema is a common condition and mostly affects people over the age of 65 as the ability for fluid control is restricted," he added.
"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.
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"Fingers usually become stiff, painful and swollen and although medication can help with the pain, the swelling can remain.
"Uncommon causes may include high salt diet leading to fluid retention, certain medications can rarely lead to swelling as a side effect such as with blood pressure medications or steroid medications."
But despite these possibilities, Dr Nye was quick to make clear they were far from a sign of a major health issue for the UK's new King.
He added: "There certainly aren't any immediate health concerns to be concluded from swollen fingers and is most likely a sign of his age."
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