Palace disappointed at the use of Queen Nazi salute film
Buckingham Palace has said it is disappointed that footage from 1933 showing the Queen performing a Nazi salute has been released.
The film which shows the Queen, aged about 7, with her mother, sister and uncle was published by the Sun.
The palace said it was “disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago, has been obtained and exploited.”
The newspaper has refused to name its source but said it was an “important and interesting story.”
‘Misleading and dishonest’
The footage, which is black and white lasts for about 17 seconds and shows the Queen playing with a dog on the lawn in the gardens of Balmoral, the Sun says.
The Queen Mother then raises in her arm in the style of a Nazi salute and, after glancing towards her mother, the Queen mimics the gesture. Prince Edward, the future Edward VIII, is also seen raising his arm.
It is thought that the footage was shot in 1933 or 1934, when Hitler was rising to prominence as Fuhrer in Germany but the circumstances in which it was shot are unclear.
A source from the Palace said “Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time. This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels.
“No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest.”
The source added “The queen and her family’s service and dedication to the welfare of this nation during the way, and the 63 years the queen has spent building relations between nations and peoples speaks for itself.”
Sarah Campbell, BBC Royal correspondent said Buckingham Palace was not denying the footage was authentic but there were “questions over how this video has been released.”
Dickie Arbiter, a former Buckingham Palace press secretary said the Palace would be investigating.
“They will be wondering whether it was in fact, something that was held in the Royal Archives at Windsor, or whether it was being held by the Duke of Windsor’s estate,” he said.
“And if it was the Duke of Windsor’s estate, then somebody has clearly taken it from the estate and here it is, 82 years later.
“But a lot of questions have got to be asked and a lot of questions got to be answered.”
Stig Abel Sun managing editor said he did not accept Buckingham Palace’s accusation that the footage has been “exploited”.
He said the newspaper had decided to publish the story because it was of great importance and the involvement of Prince Edward game it “historical significance.”
The then Prince of Wales faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathizer and was photographed meeting Hitler in Munich in October 1937- http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33578174 (read more by following this link).
The Queen was 13 when World War II broke out and later she served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.
In June, she made her first state visit to Germany where she visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and met some of the survivors and liberators.