Queen Elizabeth II is launching an investigation after private Royal Family video footage was leaked by The Sun, showing the queen as a young girl being taught the Nazi salute by her uncle, King Edward VIII.

Video Shows 6-Yr-Old Queen Elizabeth II Allegedly Giving Nazi Salute

The Sun published a still of the video on the front page of their paper on Saturday, July 18, and released the video footage on YouTube. Queen Elizabeth II was about six years old when the video was recorded around 1933, and appears alongside her mother, her uncle and her younger sister, Princess Margaret. The video appears to show Edward teaching his young nieces the Nazi salute while playing outside, though some have argued that the young Queen is simply giving an exaggerated wave.

The British paper that ran the story clarified that they were not suggesting that the Queen was a Nazi sympathizer, but rather that the video provided more proof of Edward’s political thinking. “While there is clearly no suggestion that the Queen or Queen Mother were ever Nazi sympathizers, Edward’s links with Hitler and fascism are very well documented,” read the article.

In a separate statement, The Sun expanded on their decision to publish the video footage. “These images have lain hidden for 82 years. We publish them today, knowing they do not reflect badly on our Queen, her late sister or mother in any way.… They do, however, provide a fascinating insight into the warped prejudices of Edward VIII and his friends in that bleak, paranoid, tumultuous decade,” wrote The Sun.

A spokesperson for the Royal Family released a statement claiming the video shows the Queen “playing” with her family, adding, “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.”

The footage is allegedly part of the British monarchy’s private archives held at Windsor Castle. Buckingham Palace has launched an inquiry into the leak of the footage. While most agree the footage does not damage Queen Elizabeth II’s standing in the eyes of the public, it has inspired critics to call for the release of the Royal archives.

Ricky Gervais Defends Queen, Mocks Nazi Salute Controversy

Meanwhile, some celebrities have weighed in on the controversy. Comedian Ricky Gervais mocked any suggestion that the video somehow proved that the Queen was a Nazi sympathizer on Twitter. “If the Queen does another Nazi Salute let me know about it. Until then…she was 7 and it didn’t even have it’s eventual context. Not news,” he wrote.

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