The Prince of Wales has sparked controversy by reportedly comparing the actions of Russian president Vladimir Putin to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
One MP said Charles should abdicate if he wanted to speak out on international issues, but Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg insisted that the heir to the throne should be “free to express himself”.
Charles apparently added his voice to international anger from the West at Russia’s actions in Ukraine during his tour of Canada, when he spoke to a woman who fled the Nazis and lost family members during the Holocaust.
His remark came during a tour of the Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to Second World War veterans and their families.
Jewish museum volunteer Marienne Ferguson told the Prince that she fled to Canada with her family shortly before the Nazis annexed the Baltic coastal Free City of Gdansk in 1939.
After meeting Charles, Mrs Ferguson, 78, told the Daily Mail: “The Prince said ’And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler’.
“I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do.
“But I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they (members of the Royal Family) aren’t meant to say these things.
“I told the Prince that while my family and I were lucky to get a permit to travel, many of my relatives had permits but were unable to get out before the war broke out on September 1.
“They were sent to the concentration camps and died.”
The comments came just over a fortnight before Charles is due to meet Mr Putin at the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6.
He and the Duchess are currently on a four-day tour of Canada.