Ricky Gervais Defends Queen Elizabeth II Amid Nazi Salute Footage Controversy

Ricky Gervais - H 2015
AP Images

Ricky Gervais - H 2015

The surfaced footage was captured around 1933 when Elizabeth was only six years old.

Ricky Gervais is defending Queen Elizabeth II against criticizers who say she is a Nazi and racist.

On Friday, British newspaper The Sun published decades old footage of the Queen being taught the Nazi salute in 1933 by her uncle, Edward VIII, in an article titled "Their Royal Heilnesses." The footage shows a then six-year-old Elizabeth with her three-year-old sister Princess Margaret, uncle Edward and her mother.

The Sun said in its article, "While there is clearly no suggestion that the Queen or Queen Mother were ever Nazi sympathizers, Edward’s links with Hitler and fascism are very well documented."

Buckingham Palace was disappointed in the newspaper's decision to post the private family film, and a palace spokesperson issued a statement addressing the controversy:

"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," a spokesperson said, according to CNN.

Gervais came to the Queen's defense on Twitter, posting a series of four tweets on Saturday morning in response to the surfaced footage.

"Remember, this was before Michael Jackson's Thriller had all those awful implications," he posted with the photo of the Queen posing in the Nazi stance, followed by, "If the Queen does another Nazi Salute let me know about it. Until then ... she was 7 and it didn't even have it's eventual context. Not news." 

He then quipped, "Now I'm terrified someone is going to dig up a photo of me praying when I was 7," and continued in his fourth tweet, "Never mind The Queen, I actually looked like a tiny Hitler when I was 7," which was posted with a photo of him when he was seven. 

In a separate article, The Sun defended their decision to post the footage: "These images have lain hidden for 82 years. We publish them today, knowing they do not reflect badly on our Queen, her late sister or mother in any way."

The article continued: "They do, however, provide a fascinating insight into the warped prejudices of Edward VIII and his friends in that bleak, paranoid, tumultuous decade."