Fact Check

Does Video Show Charles' Security with Fake Arms and Hands?

A TikTok video with tens of millions of views claimed that "inanimate" hands were visible for the king's security detail as he greeted well-wishers.

Published Sep 22, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: King Charles III meets well-wishers as he returns to Clarence House from Buckingham Palace along the Mall during a impromptu walkabout following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 10, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. His Majesty The King is proclaimed at the Accession Council in the State Apartments of St James's Palace, London. The Accession Council, attended by Privy Councillors, is divided into two parts. In part I, the Privy Council, without The King present, proclaims the Sovereign and part II where The King holds the first meeting of His Majesty's Privy Council. The Accession Council is followed by the first public reading of the Principal Proclamation read from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James's Palace. The Proclamation is read by the Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the Earl Marshal, other Officers of Arms and the Serjeants-at-Arms. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images) (Jonathan Brady (WPA Pool/Getty Images))
Image Via Jonathan Brady (WPA Pool/Getty Images)
A video from Sept. 9, 2022, shows that members of King Charles III security detail were using fake arms and "inanimate" hands so they could secretly keep their real hands on concealed guns.

On Sept. 16, 2022, a TikTok video was posted that asked, "King Charles' security: Do some have fake arms, hand on guns?" The clip was seen nearly 30 million times in less than one week. However, it was quite misleading.

Here's how this all started. The moment that appeared in the video occurred on Sept. 9. On that day, King Charles III and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, stopped just outside of the gates of Buckingham Palace to greet well-wishers. The crowd had gathered following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who had died the day before.

The video claimed to show something strange happening with two men who were purportedly with Charles' security detail. According to the clip, the two men referred to as "the man on the left" and the "taller man" were using "fake arms" so that they could keep their real hands on concealed firearms.

The text in the video read as follows:

King Charles' security: Do some have fake arms, hand on guns? The man on the left. The hand he's holding looks suspicious. It looks to be inanimate. Then this taller man, one of his arms also looks fake. Notice the different grips. That open-palm grip doesn't change at all. Also looks like a bulge in the jacket. Still no change and the strange swing.

Here's how we know the TikTok video was misleading. The person referred to in the video as "the man on the left" can be seen for one second on the very left side of the screen at the 1:52 mark in this video from Sky News.

For that brief moment at the 1:52 mark (again, on the very left side of the screen), one of the fingers on the man's left hand was extended. This was the same hand that the TikTok video claimed was "inanimate," which was false.

Further, we have so far found no evidence that "the man on the left" in the TikTok video was part of a security team. He didn't appear to be intently watching the crowd for any potential threats, nor was he pictured near Charles in a wider shot beginning at the 8:53 mark in the Sky News video.

As for the second person who was referred to as the "taller man" in the TikTok video, he was visible in the Sky News video (above) at the 5:46 mark. At that moment, he could be seen collecting bouquets of flowers from the crowd with both of his arms and hands. This was an unlikely task for someone deemed by the conspiratorial TikTok video to be a "security" official.

A video from Voice of America showed additional footage of the same "taller man" collecting flowers with both of his arms and hands:

In sum, we found no evidence that members of Charles' security detail used fake arms or hands during his greeting of well-wishers on the day following the queen's death. We also found no reporting or proof showing that the two men mentioned in the TikTok video were even part of a security team.


“King Charles Greets Well-Wishers Outside Buckingham Palace.” Reuters, 9 Sept. 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/king-charles-greets-public-outside-buckingham-palace-2022-09-09/.

King Charles III Greets Public Outside Buckingham Palace. Sky News, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te7nc3mNQjg.

King Charles III Greets Well Wishers in London. Voice of America, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXR7-x2fY4I.

Kirka, Danica, et al. “Queen Elizabeth II Dead at 96 After 70 Years on the Throne.” Snopes.com via The Associated Press, 8 Sept. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2022/09/08/queen-elizabeth-ii-dead-a-96-after-70-years-on-the-throne/.

Patel-Carstairs, Sunita. “King Charles and Queen Consort Walk into Palace after Being Greeted by Crowds.” Sky News, 9 Sept. 2022, https://news.sky.com/story/king-charles-leaves-balmoral-to-fly-to-london-following-queens-death-12693426.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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