Sun releases photo of Queen Elizabeth giving Nazi salute as child

British tabloid 'The Sun' is sparking controversy by releasing a decades-old image of Queen Elizabeth II.

It shows her performing a Nazi salute with her family in 1933, the year Adolf Hitler came to power.

She was around seven years old at the time.

Many are calling the paper's actions, distasteful.

The tabloids say otherwise.

The palace took the unusual step of commenting on the report in The Sun newspaper. The grainy footage also shows Elizabeth's mother making the salute as the family laughs.

 "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," the palace said. The images, posted on the newspaper's website under the headline "Their Royal Heilnesses," shows the young girls prancing on the grass. A dog runs underfoot. The girls jump up and down.

Military historian James Holland told The Sun that the royals were joking.

"I don't think there was a child in Britain in the 1930s or `40s who has not performed a mock Nazi salute as a bit of a lark," he was quoted as saying.