On the other hand, many have cited historical transparency in their rallies behind the newspaper, as a matter of public interest.
“We publish them today knowing they do not reflect badly on our queen, her late sister or mother in any way,” the Sun wrote in on its decision to publish.
During the time the footage was shot, many, particularly children, would mock the stiff and silly-looking gesture, so the clip does not necessarily imply support, the Sun also noted.
However, in 1937 it was reported that Edward — who was not yet king at the time the video was taken — and his wife visited Nazi-controlled Germany to possibly become “a figurehead for an international movement for peace on Hitler’s terms,” following Edward’s abdication of the throne the previous year.
Approximately four years after this leaked 17-second video was shot, Edward would also repeat the gesture to Hitler in person. Even after his death in 1972, he would still receive accusations of being a Nazi sympathizer.
“It is disappointing that film shot eight decades ago and apparently from HM’s personal family archive has been obtained and exploited in this manner,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
A “royal source” told the Guardian that there may be issues involving copyright and criminality involving the release.
The release of the footage has also sparked calls for the royal family to release the rest of its private archives.
“This is information that should have been in the public domain 50 years ago,” Karina Urbach, of the Institute of Historical Research, told the Guardian. “The royal archives contain matters of state. The role of the monarch is not a purely personal matter. We no longer have the divine right of kings.”