Buckingham Palace has attempted to brush off the film of a young Queen giving a Nazi salute as ‘horseplay’ and insisted that the family were simply ‘messing around’ for the camera when the film was taken—apparently around 1933 when the Queen was 7 or 8.
And while there is little doubt that the Queen is absolutely not a Nazi sympathizer, it is equally true that there was widespread sympathy for Nazis and Nazism in the early and mid-1930s in the very heart of the British establishment.
As Frank McDonough, an international expert on the Third Reich whose book, The Gestapo: The Myth and Reality of Hitler’s Secret Police will be published later this year, told The Royalist, “The British ‘Establishment’, including key figures in the aristocracy, the press were keen supporters of Hitler up until the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Few were supporters of Nazism, but they admired Hitler and felt he offered the best means of preventing the spread of communism. They tended to turn a blind eye to anti-Semitism and the attacks Hitler made on communists, socialists, and other internal opponents.”
While many were disgusted by Hitler’s naked anti-Semtism and his abolishment of democracy, right up until the outbreak of war in 1939, upper-class British girls were still doing ‘the season’ in Germany, attending balls, learning about art and hunting for husbands.
Intermarriage at the upper echelons of society was seen by many as a way of attempting to preserve the peace.
I myself distinctly remember hearing German being spoken by two distinguished elderly British ladies (who wished to speak without me understanding) at a British stately home in the mid-1980s.
British high society had a ’30s love affair with Nazism and Hitler which was in many cases just as profound as that which the German people experienced at the same time.
When they looked at Hitler, many who had an affection for Germany liked what they saw. Intermarriage between British and German high society goes all the way to the top; the Royal Family themselves were called the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas until they changed their name to Windsor at the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
Germany seemed to be thriving under the man who had abolished democracy and declared himself dictator in 1933.