The monarch apparently surprised a few pedestrians, who spotted her driving herself to church Sunday

By Adam Carlson
Updated July 19, 2015 10:20 AM
Credit: Splash News

Queen Elizabeth II drove herself to church Sunday morning, making her first public appearance since the publication of images showing her making the Nazi salute as a child.

Elizabeth wore a matching pink coat and hat for the occasion, apparently surprising pedestrians as she drove by in Windsor Castle. Some of them pulled out their phones to grab a quick photo.

Buckingham Palace slammed the publication of the images, taken from a previously unreleased 1933 home video, in Britain’s The Sun – calling the photos “disappointing” and “exploitative.”

The 17-second video shows the queen, now 89 and then a young girl, with her mother, sister Princess Margaret and uncle and future king Edward VIII in the garden at the family’s Scottish retreat, Balmoral.

“Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time,” a royal source told PEOPLE. “This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels. No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest.”

Queen Elizabeth’s Changing Looks

The newspaper has defended its coverage as necessary in better understanding King Edward VIII, a man who “was already a fan of Hitler,” the paper’s staff wrote.

Nevertheless, the story has drawn intense scrutiny from some readers. Comedian Ricky Gervais threw his support behind the Queen, in a series of Tweets Saturday:

“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.”

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