A video of a young Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute resurfaced after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's much-talked interview with Oprah Winfrey. The video made its way on social media after alleged racist behavior displayed by the British royal family over the skin color of Harry and Meghan's son Archie.
The resurfaced video was first reportedly taken in the royal family's Balmoral estate in Scotland in 1933 or 1934, when the Queen was about seven years old. British tabloid the Sun published images of the video in 2015 with a headline "Their Royal Heilness" — a reference to the Heil Hitler greeting in Nazi Germany.
In the video, the Queen's uncle, the future King Edward VIII — alongside Queen Mother Elizabeth I — is seen encouraging the young Queen and her sister Princess Margaret to give the Nazi salute. The publication of the images in the tabloid drew a sharp criticism from the royal family at the time.
"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," a Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement at the time.
However, the Sun defended the publication of the photos saying it was matter of historical significance.
"It's very clear Edward VIII, who became a Nazi sympathiser, in '36 after he abdicated he headed off to Germany briefly. In '37 [to] 1939, he was talking about his sympathy for Hitler and Germany, even before his death in 1970 he was saying Hitler was not a bad man," Stig Abell, then managing editor of the Sun told BBC.
"I think this is a matter of historical significance, I think this is footage that should be shown providing the context is very clear. We've taken a great amount of trouble and care to demonstrate that context at great length in the paper today. This is a matter of historical significance from which we shouldn't shy away," Abell added.
The video and the photos of the Queen giving the Nazi salute in the 1930s resurfaced after Meghan and Harry accused the royal family of racism for asking "how dark" the skin color of Archi would be in the royal family. The couple, who quit the royal family last March, made the revelations in Oprah with Meghan And Harry: A Primetime Special on Sunday.
While the couple did not reveal the name of the royal who expressed concern over Archie's skin colour, social media users assumed it would be either the Queen or her husband Prince Philip. However, Winfrey told CBS on Monday that "it was not his [Harry's] grandmother nor his grandfather" that were a part of the conversations about Archie's skin color.