Buckingham Palace is seething today at images in the Sun of a young Queen Elizabeth raising her hand in the Nazi salute. Rupert Murdoch's tabloid obtained a short film clip of the royal family horsing around in 1933 or 1934, when Elizabeth was about 7 years old. In the clip, Elizabeth makes the gesture along with her mother; her uncle, Prince Edward; and her younger sister, Margaret, reports the Guardian. The palace isn't disputing that the family is making the salute but said 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," reports NBC News.
The Sun defends its decision to publish the images—under the headline "Their Royal Heilnesses"—as a matter of "historical significance." It won't say how it got the film clip. It's all about context, a palace source tells the BBC: "This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels," says the unnamed official. "No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest."