LONDON: Buckingham Palace voiced disappointment after a British newspaper on Saturday published images allegedly showing a young Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute in the early 1930s.
The front page of The Sun showed 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 images threaten to cause deep embarrassment for the 89-year-old monarch.
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 alleged Nazi salute come from a 20-second black and white 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.