Royal Nazi salute: the Sun, Hitler’s hacked heil-phone and Al Fayed’s revenge
The video and stills of young future Queen Elizabeth (she’d have been around 6 or 7), her younger sister Margaret, future Edward VIII Edward and the Queen Mother giving the Nazi salute have been described as gutter journalism.
So? What’s wrong with gutter journalism?
Well, a “royal source” thinks everything is:
“We are looking at this on two fronts. One issue we are examining is the whole question of copyright. The second question is whether any criminality has been involved.”
First up, Hitler’s salute was open to anyone who hates Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, communists and was prepared to wear leather shorts in public. Only footballer Gareth Bale has tried to copyright a gesture. And Edward is dead, so any war crimes tribunal is not going to bother prosecuting him. Of course, if you can suggest to the Yard that he molested kinder and encouraging his innocent young nieces to give the Nazi salute is tantamount to child abuse, then we can dig up the Nazi fan and stick his knitting needles in his eyes.
The Sunday Times adds:
Both the palace and The Sun believe the man behind the camera was probably the girls’ father, the future George VI. If so, the palace believes copyright to the film belongs to the Queen as his heir.
So. Not a hacked Hitler heil-phone.
And will the Queen sue the Sun?
The Sun insisted the film had been obtained in a “legitimate fashion”. It is believed to have been in the newspaper’s hands for weeks while lawyers and film experts confirmed its authenticity and legal status.
Did the British Film Institute (BFI) leak the film?
The BFI said no one had access to the royal film collection without the express permission of the royal family. “It’s not for anyone’s eyes,” said a spokeswoman. It too has begun an inquiry.
And then we get this:
One possibility, however, is that the footage was kept at the Paris home of the Duchess of Windsor, the American divorcee who became the Queen’s aunt by marriage after Edward abdicated. After she died in 1986 the contents were bought by Mohamed al-Fayed, the former owner of Harrods, who later auctioned them in 3,200 lots.
Al-Fayed? Why does the Sunday Times, sister organ to the Sun, introduce Al Fayed as it wonders aloud where-oh-where the footage came from?
Fayed, who lost his son, Dodi, in the Paris car crash in 1997 that also killed Diana, Princess of Wales, leased the villa after the duchess died.
That’s the same Al-Fayed who accused Prince Phillip of being a Nazis (which he isn’t):
Gutter press? Maybe. But it’s a cracking story.