After weathering a minor health scare, the 95-year-old monarch hosted General Sir Nick Carter at Windsor Castle today. Her Majesty's hand was a dark purple colour as she took part in the face-to-face meeting, which alarmed royal fans. Some speculated that the heating at Windsor Castle had to be turned up.
However, the Queen’s hands were so purple because of Raynaud's phenomenon. In this case, the blood vessels in the hands spasm and produce diminished blood flow. This can explain why her hands were so purple.
The Queen has been going through a bit of a rough patch when it comes to her health lately. She recently visited the hospital and stayed there overnight, and then later was asked to rest for a month. Further, the fact that she missed Remembrance Day service because of her strained back does not help her cause either. As such, amidst this, there are a lot of medical explanations that have come up for the purple hand. Shakespeare Medical Centre's Dr Jay Verma said:
It might be Raynaud’s phenomenon or just really cold hands! The purple is due to deoxygenated blood.
In May 2019, the Queen was photographed with purple hands when hosting King Abdullah, Queen Rania, and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan at Buckingham Palace. So, General practitioner Giuseppe Aragona commented:
There are a few different reasons for why the Queen’s hands are so purple.
A lack of circulation, frail skin, exposed veins, bruising, a leakage of blood to the tissue beneath the skin causing the colour.
Initially, it sparked fears that the problem was caused by something other than her advanced age. However, it can be prevented by keeping the hands warm. Despite cancelling many official engagements in recent weeks, Prince Charles claimed the Queen was doing well. He told a reporter,
She’s alright, thank you very much. Once you get to 95, it’s not quite as easy as it used to be. It’s bad enough at 73.
Apparently, the most plausible explanation of purple hands is the medical phenomenon of deoxygenated blood. Deoxygenated blood, also known as venous blood, moves from the blood vessels to the heart's right side. According to Dr Aragona, when there isn't enough oxygen in the blood, the skin can darken, which could be a sign of Cyanosis.
Blood which has a normal amount of oxygen is a deep red and means your skin is its normal colour, however low oxygenated blood is bluer which causes your skin to have a purple hue.
It is known that Cyanosis can develop quicker if the person has suffered a minor health problem, so this could be linked to her recent injury.