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UK newspaper publishes footage of Queen giving Nazi salute as child

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Queen Elizabeth II (June 2013)

LONDON — The Sun newspaper has sparked a furor in Britain by releasing decades-old footage of Queen Elizabeth II — then a young girl — giving a Nazi salute as she played with her family.

Buckingham Palace criticized the newspaper’s decision to publish on its website the private family film, which was shot around 1933, when the future Queen was only about 6 years old and as Adolf Hitler had just risen to power in Germany.

“It is disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from (Her Majesty’s) personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

The print version of the Sun, Britain’s best-selling tabloid newspaper, published a still image taken from the footage — showing Elizabeth alongside her mother, her 3-year-old sister Princess Margaret and her uncle, who would later be crowned Edward VIII — on its front page with the headline, “Their royal heilnesses.”

The short black-and-white clip, filmed at the royals’ Balmoral estate in Scotland, shows Edward — whom the paper describes as “Nazi-sympathising” — apparently encouraging his young nieces and sister-in-law to perform the salute, before himself joining them.

“While there is clearly no suggestion that the Queen or Queen Mother were ever Nazi sympathisers, Edward’s links with Hitler and fascism are very well documented,” the article says.

The Sun also quotes a historian, Karina Urbach of the London-based Institute of Historical Research, as describing the footage as “an important historical document that asks serious questions of the Royal Family.”

Source: Queen was entirely innocent of gesture’s meaning

Edward would subsequently go on to meet with Hitler in Germany in 1937, a year after he abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, leading to Elizabeth’s father’s ascension as King George VI.

It’s not clear who was filming the 17-second segment of grainy footage posted on The Sun’s website.

A royal source 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 Queen was about 6 years old at the time, the source said, and “entirely innocent of attaching any meaning to these gestures.”

The Queen and her family’s service to the nation during World War II and the 63 years she has spent “building relations between nations and peoples speaks for itself,” the source added.

The Sun: Images give fascinating insight

The Sun also published a separate explanation of why it decided to run the footage, saying the images must be seen in their historical context.

“These images have lain hidden for 82 years. We publish them today, knowing they do not reflect badly on our Queen, her late sister or mother in any way,” it said.

“They do, however, provide a fascinating insight into the warped prejudices of Edward VIII and his friends in that bleak, paranoid, tumultuous decade.”

Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, following the death of her father.

She paid her first state visit to Germany in June, accompanied by husband Prince Philip. The trip culminated with a visit to the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where Anne Frank died, and which was liberated by British troops 70 years ago.


  • Reasonless

    And why is this even news?
    We have a President of our own that walks around with his head up his a$$, and no one says anything about that.

  • Moderated by Fox6

    Why is this news? It happened 82 years ago. We have a president who cant order the flag at half staff for killed Marines but will wish the muslims a Peaceful Ramadan?

    • Brian

      Whats your point? How many years has christian holidays been jammed down our throats. Actually this was a great thing try and show respect for ones freedom of relgion . Go back to your scott walker campaign who has bad middleast plans.

      • Moderated by Fox6

        So its a great thing to ignore the deaths of 5 American Servicemen but great to wish those that would decapitate you and your family without thinking twice about it a happy Ramadan? I’m guessing your one of the same liberal idiots who plans on voting for Hillary and thinks its ok to attack the police

  • Wilson

    I heard she was alsoHitler’s love child!!! I read that in the National Enquirer so I know its true!!!!

    • Hell in a handbasket

      Don’t be too critical of the Enquirer, after all they broke the news of former VP candidate John Edwards dipping his wick where it didn’t belong. Someone has to report the news and it won’t be here until 3 days after its happens (has to be approved by the Tribune Wire Service for political agenda reasons first).

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