Buckingham Palace has said it is disappointed that footage from 1933 showing the Queen performing a Nazi salute has been released.
The Sun UK Newspaper 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’ Queen Nazi Salute
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.
English Monarchy German Heritage
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”.
Dickie Arbiter, a former Buckingham Palace press secretary said the Palace would be investigating.
“They’ll be wondering whether it was in fact something that was held in the Royal Archives at Windsor, or whether it was being held by the, Duke of Windsor’s estate,” he said.
“And if it was the Duke of Windsor’s estate, then somebody has clearly taken it from the estate and here it is, 82 years later.
“But a lot of questions have got to be asked and a lot of questions got to be answered.”
Uk Monarchy Met Hitler before WW2
Prince Edward and his wife Wallis Simpson met Adolf Hitler two years before World War Two broke out
Sun managing editor Stig Abell said he did not accept Buckingham Palace’s accusation that the footage has been “exploited”.
He said the newspaper had decided to publish the story because it was of great public importance and the involvement of Prince Edward gave it “historical significance”.
The then Prince of Wales faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser and was photographed meeting Hitler in Munich in October 1937.
Mr Abell said: “We are not using it to suggest any impropriety on behalf of them. But it is an important and interesting issue, the extent to which the British aristocracy – notably Edward VIII, in this case – in the 1930s, were sympathetic towards fascism.
“That must be a matter of national and public interest to discuss. And I think this video and this footage animates that very clearly.”
The Queen was 13 when World War Two broke out and she later served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.
In June she made her first state visit to Germany where she visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and met some of the survivors and liberators.