Buckingham Palace has made it very clear that it is not amused by the leak of a video showing a very young Princess Elizabeth giving a Nazi salute, but some historians have welcomed the chance to take a fresh look at King Edward VIII, the man in the video. While the girls are clearly just playing around, Edward—who became king a few years after the 1933 video and then abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson—had close ties to Germany and was often accused of having Nazi sympathies, the Independent reports. He met with Adolf Hitler in 1937 and discussed becoming the figurehead for a Hitler-friendly international peace movement, the BBC reports. Historians believe Hitler might have put Edward back on the throne if he had successfully invaded Britain.
The Sun has been condemned for leaking the footage, but it should be saluted for reminding the world that Edward "was a charming, libidinous idiot," writes Peter Preston at the Guardian. "He dabbled his toes in the fascist stream that ran through the 1930s. He belonged instinctively to a gullible ruling class that longed to bring 'order' and 'control' to a tumultuous decade." But there has been no suggestion that the queen's parents had Nazi leanings, reports the New York Times, which notes that they were praised for staying in London instead of fleeing to Canada during wartime bombing, with the queen mother saying, "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the king. And the king will never leave."