Buckingham Palace expressed its disappointment over images published by a British newspaper on Saturday allegedly showing a young Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute. The images were reportedly from a 1933 footage shot at the royal family's rural Balmoral estate in Scotland.
The photos from the video were released by the Sun newspaper showing the queen, at the age of 6, raising her right hand in the air, accompanied by her mother, sister Princess Margaret and uncle. The Sun captioned the image: “Their Royal Heilnesses," a reference to the "Heil Hitler" greeting that was used in Nazi Germany. It added that the queen's uncle, the future King Edward VIII, was teaching her the Nazi salute.
"It is disappointing that film shot eight decades ago and apparently from [Her Majesty's] personal family archive has been obtained and in this manner," a Buckingham Palace spokesman reportedly said in a statement.
The nature of Edward's links to the Nazis is still debated in Britain, and some have accused him of being sympathetic to Adolf Hitler's regime, according to reports.
“The Queen is around six years of age at the time and entirely innocent of attaching any meaning to these gestures. 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," said a royal source on condition of anonymity, Agence France-Presse reported.
In its column, the Sun reportedly defended its decision to release the images, saying they offered "a fascinating insight in the warped prejudices of Edward VIII," adding: "We publish them today knowing they do not reflect badly on our Queen, her late sister or mother in any way."
— The Sun (@TheSun) July 18, 2015