Front page of The Sun, showing their “context” (agenda).
It is true that Edward VIII, seen here while he was Prince of Wales, was an admirer of the Nazis, even after the war, but for most people in the early 1930s, the Nazi salute was just comical posturing. The full horror of the Nazi regime was unknown, even though the atrocities had begun. The other adult in this scene would become Queen to Edward’s successor, George VI, and would vociferously oppose the Nazis (even before war started), and gain popularity by refusing to be evacuated, even during the Blitz, saying “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave the King. And the King will never leave.”
The two children, the present Queen and her sister Margaret, were about 8 and 3 years old, and would have no inkling of any of the things the salute represented.
Mockery of the salute was quite common, but it was already in use elsewhere before the Nazis adopted it. Among other nations, the USA used it during the Pledge of Allegiance, after it was introduced by Christian Socialist minister and author Francis Bellamy in 1892. It was still in use up to December 1942.
I am not, of course, seriously suggesting that it is the American salute being used here, but it does serve to show how innocuous the gesture was seen as at the time.
American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the flag in 1941
And mockery seems to be what’s going on in the short clip obtained (possibly illegally) by The Sun, and published today on their website, with stills in the printed version of the rag. The headline, “THEIR ROYAL HEILNESSES” clearly attributes blame to all those in the film.
My hobby is adding colour to old black and white photos, and the Royal family’s album is a rich resource, but I can hardly be accused of being a Monarchist. Like The Sun‘s owner, Rupert Murdoch, I’m more of a republican (though not in the sense of the American political party).
Unlike Murdoch, I’m not prepared to stoop to this kind of dishonest propaganda to promote my views.