Thrifty Charles strikes again! King appears to wear heavy gloves he uses for gardening to church at Sandringham – as his quest to be a sustainable monarch continues

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The King is well-known for repurposing his clothes, and prefers to fix rather than replace when he can

Charles has been snapped wearing a grubby pair of gloves that look hardly fit for a king – prompting a list of questions as to why he doesn’t replace them with a fancier pair.

He wore them as he attended Advent Sunday service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate with Queen Camilla.

The gloves are a pair be appears to one of his favourite pastimes – gardening – posing the question of whether he is trying to be a sustainable monarch via his clothing choices. 

However,  on the other hand, the monarch is well known for what he has humorously described as his ‘sausage fingers’, which are more bloated than your average digits.

This has led to some observers wondering whether he is simply unable to find a pair of gloves sizable to fit his bigger-than-average mitts.

Despite this enormous wealth, the King has owned some of this clothes for more than four decades

Grubby gloved monarch: Onlookers may have been surprised to the King wearing a pair of rather scruffy looking gloves in Sandringham last and this week

After all, he has gained a fair amount of attention over his swollen digits since  ascending the throne last September.

Indeed, his fingers were at one point seventh on Google’s most searched list. 

And 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. 

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.

The king (pictured) has garnered a huge amount of attention since ascending the throne for his self-described 'sausage fingers'- perhaps this explains why he often wears the same gloves- or very similar pairs

The king (pictured) has garnered a huge amount of attention since ascending the throne for his self-described ‘sausage fingers’- perhaps this explains why he often wears the same gloves- or very similar pairs

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The monarch, who is well-known for his love of gardening, and was once ridiculed by some for his now popular habit of speaking to his plants, is believed to love spending time in the garden.

He has a great interest in sustainable growing methods, and is known to enjoy tending to his own plants.

Among them, are his well-tended herb garden, and as part of his role, he has of course planted more than a tree or two during his career.

His capacity for further gardening was expanded this when, when, in September, he was granted permission to build a new greenhouse that will increase the growing capacity at his 18th century Cotswolds estate (the country home of Charles and Queen Camilla) by a third.

Plans for the greenhouse at Highgrove House will see more people able to visit to learn about horticulture.

Alongside three cold frames, it will also mean more young plants can be grown at the mansion near Tetbury in Gloucestershire.

The garden where the cold frames are planned has been used for greenhouses since 1800.

This will give the monarch – when he has time in his busy schedule – to pull out his well-worn gardening gloves. 

But as a fan of sustainability, King Charles’ tendency to rewear clothes stretched well beyond gloves and gardening gloves.

He is famous for once saying that he would rather keep a piece, getting it mended if needed, than constantly replacing items.

The monarch regularly dons his hardworking gardening gloves - either for his own garden, or when planting trees on a professional basis

The monarch regularly dons his hardworking gardening gloves – either for his own garden, or when planting trees on a professional basis

He is often called on to perform some of his much-loved work with plants during engagements (pictured with Camilla at a.visit to Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserve in Wiltshire in 2007)

He is often called on to perform some of his much-loved work with plants during engagements (pictured with Camilla at a.visit to Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserve in Wiltshire in 2007)

According to His Majesty: ‘I happen to be one of those people who’d get shoe–or any item of clothing–repaired if I can, rather than just throw it away.’

The gloves are therefore not the royal’s most famous repair (though they do appear to be his grubbiest).

One of his most prominent recycled outfits is a grey three-piece suit he bought in 1984 from the brand Anderson & Sheppard.

Among the high profile event he’s donned the upmarket garment for is the 2018 wedding of his son Prince Harry to Meghan Markle.

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In an interview with British Vogue at the time, he spoke about the outfit, and why he had chosen to rewear it. 

Charles said:’In the case of that particular morning coat, as long as I can go on getting into it, I only wear it a few times a year, in the summer, so obviously you want to keep those sorts of things going.

‘But if I can’t fit into them, then I just have to have something new made. But I’m not sure quite how radically different they can be at my age.’

He later wore the suit at Royal Ascot at 2021, having previously been snapped wearing it at the equestrian event in 1990, 2000, and 2006. 

Charles us snapped wearing his grey thee-piece suit that he bought in 1984 from the brand Anderson & Sheppard at Harry and Meghan's wedding (pictured with Doria Rgland)

Charles us snapped wearing his grey thee-piece suit that he bought in 1984 from the brand Anderson & Sheppard at Harry and Meghan’s wedding (pictured with Doria Rgland)

The monarch has worn the suit on numerous occasions, including during this appearance at Royal Ascot in 2021

The monarch has worn the suit on numerous occasions, including during this appearance at Royal Ascot in 2021

And earlier this year, the royal was branded a ‘sustainble king’ on TikTok after donning a 40-year-old coat at Sandringham on New Year’s Day.

Also from Anderson & Sheppard, the royal has been snapped wearing the item on numerous occasions, since the 1908s.

A TikTok video by Jessica Weslie Arena went viral when she praised the ‘sustainable king’ for recycling the coat.

In her clip, she said: ‘King Charles attended a church service for New Years today, and I just want to talk about his coat that he is wearing.

‘This coat that he is wearing he’s had it since like the 1980s. King Charles is king but he is not wearing new items all the time. 

‘He has had this coat for about 40 years. We love a sustainable king.’

Another example of Charles showing his passion for rewearing a garment for eco reasons was during his coronation.

While the same robes are traditionally used, it is standard that a new monarch will have remade for them a new Coronation Sword Belt and a new Coronation Glove to be used during the ceremony.

But Charles, for reasons of sustainability and efficiency, has decided to reuse the belt and glove worn by his grandfather – the last male monarch – George VI.

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The Coronation Sword Belt (pictured) is made of embroidered cloth of gold and has a gold buckle stamped with national emblems

The Coronation Sword Belt (pictured) is made of embroidered cloth of gold and has a gold buckle stamped with national emblems

Monarchs usually receive a new Coronation Glove and Belt, but to be more sustainable, Charles will reuse those used worn by the last male monarch, his grandfather George VI

Monarchs usually receive a new Coronation Glove and Belt, but to be more sustainable, Charles will reuse those used worn by the last male monarch, his grandfather George VI

Caroline de Guitaut, deputy surveyor of the King’s works of art for the Royal Collection Trust: ‘It’s quite unusual in modern times.’

She continued: ‘It was the King’s personal decision and it’s in keeping with this idea of sustainability and efficiency to reuse these pieces.’

His passion for sustainability was on show once more this weekend, when he spoke at the Cop28 eco-summit in Dubai, telling world leaders that ‘the Earth does not belong to us’, as he called on nations to work together.

The monarch told delegates his grandchildren will be ‘living with the consequences of what we did or didn’t do’ on climate change in 2050, but did not mention George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet by name.

Charles was the only foreign head of state who has been invited to speak at the climate action meeting of global leaders in honour of the work he has been undertaking in the environmental field for decades.

King Charles III speaks during the opening ceremony at the Cop28 Climate Summit. His rewearing of clothes - including the gloves could be environmental

King Charles III speaks during the opening ceremony at the Cop28 Climate Summit. His rewearing of clothes – including the gloves could be environmental

In his address, the King said: ‘I pray with all my heart that Cop28 will be another critical turning point towards genuine transformational action at a time when, already, as scientists have been warning for so long, we are seeing alarming tipping points being reached.

‘Despite all the attention, there is 30 per cent more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than there was back then, and almost 40 per cent more methane.

‘Some important progress has been made, but it worries me greatly that we remain so dreadfully far off track as the global stocktake report demonstrates so graphically.

‘The dangers are no longer distant risks. I have seen across the Commonwealth, and beyond, countless communities which are unable to withstand repeated shocks, whose lives and livelihoods are laid waste by climate change.

‘Surely, real action is required to stem the growing toll of its most vulnerable victims.

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