Buckingham Palace has said it is disappointed that footage from 1933 showing the Queen performing a Nazi salute has been released.
The Sun (Newspaper sic) has published the film which shows the Queen aged about seven, with her mother, sister and uncle.
The palace said it was “disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago… has been obtained and exploited”.
The newspaper has refused to say how it got the footage but said it was an “important and interesting story”.
‘Misleading and dishonest’
The black and white footage, which lasts about 17 seconds, shows the Queen playing with a dog on the lawn in the gardens of Balmoral, the Sun says.
The Queen Mother then raises her arm in the style of a Nazi salute and, after glancing towards her mother, the Queen mimics the gesture. Prince Edward, the future Edward VIII, is also seen raising his arm.
The footage is thought to have been shot in 1933 or 1934, when Hitler was rising to prominence as Fuhrer in Germany but the circumstances in which it was shot are unclear.
The Queen recently made a state visit to Germany where she visited a former Nazi concentration camp
A Palace source said: “Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time. This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels.
“No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest.”
The source added: “The Queen and her family’s service and dedication to the welfare of this nation during the war, and the 63 years the Queen has spent building relations between nations and peoples speaks for itself.”
BBC Royal correspondent Sarah Campbell said Buckingham Palace was not denying the footage was authentic but that there were “questions over how this video has been released”.
Maybe the Queen is also very disappointed in her husband who asked a group of women he met in Chadwell Heath, Essex, earlier this week: “who do you sponge off of?” – an interesting question coming from the man who’s life has been paid for by the UK taxpayer since his marriage!