Buckingham Palace was last night braced for new embarrassment as turmoil continued over leaked footage showing the Queen performing a Nazi salute as a child.
An explosive Channel 4 documentary is set to reveal details of how Prince Philip’s sister met and admired Adolf Hitler, whom she described as a ‘charming and seemingly modest man’.
Three of his sisters were married to senior Nazi officers – one a colonel in the SS – and when Philip attended a family funeral in Germany in 1937 he was confronted by crowds giving the Heil Hitler salute. The documentary includes previously unseen extracts from a private memoir in which one sister talks of her early admiration for Hitler.
Meanwhile the footage showing the Queen performing a Nazi salute as a child could have been accidentally leaked by Buckingham Palace, it has been reported.
The Palace will not welcome a fresh focus on links to the Third Reich while controversy continues over the footage of the Queen.
The grainy film was shot in 1933, months after Hitler came to power and six years before the start of the Second World War. It shows the then seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth playing with a dog on the lawn at Balmoral with her sister Margaret, before raising her arm in a Nazi salute.
Her mother, the future Queen Mother, and her uncle Edward – later Edward VIII – are also shown in the pose. Her uncle appears to be showing them how to perform the Nazi salute, which even then was recognised internationally as a sign of obedience to Hitler.
Royal aides are investigating how the 17-second black and white film clip came to be published by The Sun, and Buckingham Palace has not ruled out legal action.
The footage was sold to a tabloid newspaper for a four-figure sum, the Mail has learnt.
Another remarkable photograph from 1937 shows Prince Philip, then just 16, in a funeral procession for his older sister Cecile, who was killed in an air crash.
The young prince is flanked by grieving relatives, all wearing distinctive Nazi uniforms. One is clad in the uniform of the Brownshirts; another wears full SS regalia.
The street in Darmstadt, near Frankfurt, is lined with crowds – many giving the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute.
On his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, he assumed his mother’s maternal surname – Mountbatten, which is an Anglicised version of the German ‘Battenberg’.
The Queen’s real surname is also is German – Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. That was the surname of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, who was born near Coburg in Germany.
The Royal Family’s surname was changed to Windsor in 1917, during the First World War, when Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was considered too German a name – not least because the planes coming over to bomb Britain were called Gotha bombers.
Source: Daily Mail