The Sun, a British tabloid, has recently released photos of the aged monarch as a young girl enthusiastically giving what appears to be a Nazi salute (or Roman salute). The photos are reported to be frames from a home movie depicting the future Queen dancing joyously while she and her mother, the Queen Mother, joined in.
It seems pretty damning until one realizes that the footage appears to be from a stay at the family’s rural Balmoral estate in Scotland around 1933 or 1934- long before Hitler’s madness and unbridled militancy could be observed by most adults, must less a six year-old girl.
The video is reported to have been shot as Elizabeth’s uncle, the future King Edward VII egged them on and is approximately 20 seconds long with Elizabeth and her mother three times offering the salute.
Quite predictably, the Sun has sought to exploit the photos as bombshell evidence of alleged Nazi sympathies and the crown is likely to pursue legal remedies as the question remains as to how the tabloid obtained the frames from footage that has been the personal property of the Queen and has been in her possession for decades.
“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
“It is a historical document that really sheds some insight in to the behaviour of Edward VIII,” stated the Sun’s managing editor, Stig Abell.
“I understand that they (the palace) don’t like this coming out but I also feel, on a relatively purist basis, that the role of journalists and the media is to bring to light things that happened.”
It may be legitimate journalism, but the narrative is inarguably skewed as the publication does not appear to ask a question, but state as assertion as the headline reads: (emphasis added) “Their Royal Heilnesses”
The simple fact is that while none should serve as Nazi apologists, there can be a point made concerning some world leaders and their children remaining ignorant of what would be in store for Hitler’s Germany.
Historian Tim Stanley notes this fact, claiming that while Hitler’s views on anti-semitism were well-known at this time, few could have predicted the Second World War and the holocaust.
“No-one could have predicted the sheer scale of the evil,” he stated.
Those that knew of the atrocities and continued to support the Nazi must be held to account for those beliefs and that inaction. However, can we not let a 6 year-old girl off the hook for A) not understanding the political landscape of the world and B) being unable (much as the majority of adult world leaders at that time) to predict the wholesale brutality and evil that would arise years later after the photo was taken?
After all, the Iranian Regime maintains a shocking commitment to anti-Semitism and our Commander-in-Chief has struck a deal with the despotic regime that greatly aids them in their endeavors. Surely this support for an anti-Semitic regime is far more discussion-worthy than a picture of a child foolishly stumbling into a political gaffe years before the horrors of the Nazi regime were revealed.