Palace dismayed at picture of queen giving Nazi salute
Buckingham Palace yesterday said it was disappointed that footage from 1933 showing a very young Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute had been released.
The Sun published the film yesterday, which showed the Queen, aged about seven, with her mother, sister and uncle. The black-and-white footage shows Elizabeth’s late mother raising her arm in the style of a Nazi salute. The queen mimics the gesture.
Prince Edward, the future King Edward VIII, is also seen raising his arm. The footage is thought to have been shot in 1933 or 1934, when Adolf Hitler was rising to prominence as führer in Germany, but the circumstances in which it was shot are unclear.
The palace said it was “disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago ... has been obtained and exploited”.
A palace 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 newsreels.
“No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest. The queen and her family’s service and dedication to the welfare of this nation during the war, and the 63 years the queen has spent building relations between nations and peoples, speaks for itself.”
Prince Edward faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser and was photographed meeting Hitler in October 1937.