The palace made a great deal of noise at the weekend saying it would launch an immediate investigation into who sneaked the footage to the Sun of the then seven year-old Queen performing a Heil Hitler salute in the company of her Nazi supporting uncle David, later Edward VIII.
Now, in what can only be termed a royal cock-up of stunning proportions, the Telegraph is reporting that the footage may have actually been handed to documentary film makers by curators at the Royal archive.
The suggestion comes after it emerged that a short snippet of the Queen and Princess Margaret talking, which was shown in an exhibition last year called a Royal Childhood, was taken from the same home movie, with the chat between the two royal children occurring just a few seconds after the now infamous Hitler salute.
The release of the film was part of a series of private Royal home movies that were made public for the first time and, The Telegraph reports, “the emergence of the family movies is understood to have generated a lot of interest and requests for access to them”.
There is a plethora of hagiographic documentaries currently in production as the queen turns 90 next year, and in September will become the UK’s longest reigning monarch.
Incredibly, it now seems that the Palace in its eagerness to make the Queen’s private life ‘accessible’ to the public may have handed a freelance film maker the footage of the future Queen’s Nazi salute.
Oh dear, dear, dear.
The publication of the film was greeted with widespread public outrage in the UK, especially in view of the fact that just three weeks ago, the Queen visited Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and was visibly moved by the experience.
Buckingham Palace reacted with typical restraint and understatement, although they did issue a rare statement of reaction, with a spokesperson saying, "It is disappointing that a film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from HM's personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner.”
However, off the record it was clear from conversations with courtiers that royal blood was boiling.
A royal source said: “The Queen has spent 63 years building relations between nations and people.
Just three weeks ago she was at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and she was very moved by the reaction of the German people. It is likely the palace will pursue this. We want to identify where the footage came from, who it came from and why it has come out now.”
Well, now we know.
Somebody should be sent to the tower.