British comedian Russell Brand has this week attracted significant criticism for a post on social media site Facebook in which he equated The Queen’s German heritage to Nazism. The post garnered significant attention from Brand’s 3.4m Facebook followers, many of whom were appalled by his expletive-ridden rant, taking to the comments section to express their outrage.
He went on to say, of The Queen, “no wonder they f*cking changed it. It’s the most German thing I’ve ever heard – she might’ve well as been called ‘Mrs Bratwurst-Kraut-Nazi'”.
Russell Brand’s provocative comments come just days after a video from the Royal Archives, taken before the outbreak of the Second World War, appeared to show The Queen, aged 7, giving a mock “Nazi salute” – a gesture which it’s been pointed out did not yet have all the historic weight that it eventually would as the Nazi regime grew in Germany.
Many followers of Brand were clearly shocked by the outburst, leading one to commenter to exclaim, “I AM GERMAN… my NAME is german and I am NOT a Nazi !!! In fact, not EVERY german is a Nazi! [sic]”, a comment which garnered significant attention from other readers, gaining over 5,000 ‘likes’ on the page.
Another commenter humorously points out that Brand was “beside [himself] with excitement to meet her”. Brand had described in a television interview his encounters with members of the Royal Family and how he’d gone “all giddy” when meeting the them and that it “gets you all excited” when waiting for the royals.
This isn’t the first time Brand has aired his republican sympathies, having made similar rants about the cost of the Monarchy on his YouTube channel a few weeks ago, lambasting The Queen for her personal wealth – despite being a millionaire several times over himself.
In the Facebook post – published yesterday – Brand also comments on The Queen’s style of ‘Your Majesty’, insisting that we are compelled to address her as such like “she’s all majestic, like an eagle or a mountain”. This contrasts with the honorific in most presidencies of ‘Excellency’, meaning presidents are addressed as “Your Excellency” in a similar fashion.
Brand’s implication that the present Queen and Royal Family have Nazi links is particularly egregious to many who note that both The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh served in the Armed Forces during the Second World War. The Queen in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and Prince Philip in the Royal Navy – attaining a distinguished war record in the process in the fight against Nazism.
photo credit: Joel Telling