THE QUEEN was urged yesterday to make a personal statement regarding leaked footage showing her performing a nazi salute with her mother.
Buckingham Palace is considering taking legal action and has launched an inquiry into how the 17-second black and white film from 1933 came into the hands of The Sun newspaper.
But Republic, which campaigns for a democratic alternative to the monarchy, said the palace should stop dodging responsibility.
Chief executive officer Graham Smith told the Star: “Rather than playing the victim the Queen should make a personal statement to explain herself about the contents of the video.
“The footage is clearly in the public interest. It’s a public record about our head of state and the public has every right to see it.”
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said he understands why the palace is upset by the publication, but defended the right of the press to make editorial judgements.
He told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “It is up to the press to decide what is and what is not appropriate to print.
“They decided clearly there was a public interest and the British public will judge whether or not they were right.”
The grainy footage shows the Queen, aged six or seven, joining the Queen Mother and her uncle Prince Edward to raise an arm in salute as she played alongside her younger sister, Princess Margaret.
It is understood that depending on the outcome of the investigation, the palace will be looking at issues of copyright and possible criminality.
A Palace spokesman said: “It is disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from Her Majesty’s personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner.”