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Film body's probe into Nazi salute video leak

By Tony Jones

The British Film Institute (BFI) has confirmed it has been digitising some of the royal family's home movies as investigations continue into the leaking of the Queen's Nazi salute footage.

Buckingham Palace, the Royal Collection Trust and the BFI are trying to establish how the 17-second black and white film, showing the Queen as a child performing a Nazi salute with her family, came into the hands of The Sun newspaper.

In October 2012, her Diamond Jubilee year, the Queen visited BFI Southbank in London on the day the organisation announced it would be working with the BBC to digitise a collection of royal footage, which the BFI National Archive has looked after since the late 1960s.

It includes a mixture of films presented to the royal household including newsreels and private family movies which are unique to the collection and date back to the 1920s.

Some of the footage was already available to the public at the time but more was expected to be made available through digitisation.

When the project was announced, BFI chairman Greg Dyke, who hosted the Queen's visit, said: "We've got the whole collection - we look after it for the royal family - some of which has never been seen, they are very personal films."

Despite no updates about the project since 2012, a BFI spokeswoman confirmed "that work is being done".

It is not known where the footage showing the Nazi salute originated, but the BFI spokeswoman said the organisation was continuing to "investigate".

It shows the Queen, aged six or seven, joining her mother and the future Edward VIII - known as Uncle David in the royal family - in raising an arm in salute as she plays alongside her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

It is understood that depending on the outcome of the investigation, Buckingham Palace will be looking at issues of copyright and possible criminality.

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