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Royals Embarrassed Over Photo of Queen’s Nazi Salute as Child

British tabloid reveals photo of Queen Elizabeth II as child making Nazi salute; royal family source: she had no idea of its significance.
ritain’s royal family suffered a high-profile embarrassment Saturday after a newspaper published images showing Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute as a young child in the 1930s.

Buckingham Palace voiced disappointment after the front page of The Sun carried a black-and-white image of the queen, then aged around six, raising her right hand in the air as her mother, the late Queen Mother, does the same.

The headline on the story read: “Their Royal Heilnesses” — a reference to the “Heil Hitler” greeting used in Nazi Germany.

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

While a royal source insisted that the queen would not have known the significance of the gesture at such a young age, the story will have made uncomfortable reading for the monarch, who is now 89.

Ten years ago, it was also The Sun, a tabloid and Britain’s top-selling newspaper, which published a photograph of Prince Harry wearing a swastika armband to a friend’s fancy dress party. The fifth in line to the throne later apologized.

Home movie images

The images showing the Nazi salute come from a 20-second home movie which The Sun reported was shot at the royal family’s rural Balmoral estate in Scotland in 1933 or 1934 and has never been made public before.

The video shows the young future queen briefly raising her right hand in the air three times, as well as dancing around excitedly and playing with a corgi.

The group, which also included the queen’s sister Princess Margaret, were apparently being encouraged by the queen’s uncle, the future king Edward VIII.

The precise nature of Edward’s links to the Nazis are still debated in Britain but some historians accuse him of being sympathetic to Adolf Hitler’s regime.

He met Hitler in Germany in 1937 after having abdicated as king the previous year over his desire to marry US divorcee Wallis Simpson.


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