Its front page in the main newspapers in the UK…In Canada Prince Charles met a Polish Jewish lady who had fled with her family from Danzig in 1939 just before the German Army swept in, however some of her relatives died in the Holocaust. It was then, after hearing her story, that he made the comment. The woman agreed with him, incidentally…
BBC - Prince Charles 'compared Russian actions to Nazis’
**A former Polish war refugee who met Prince Charles in Canada has said he likened some Nazi actions in Europe to those of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Marienne Ferguson was speaking after meeting Prince Charles at a Nova Scotia immigration museum where she works.
As they discussed Hitler’s takeover of countries, the prince “said something to the effect of ‘it’s not unlike… what Putin is doing,’” she recalled.
Clarence House said it would not comment on a private conversation.
The prince is due to meet the Russian president for D-Day anniversary celebrations in France next month.**
On Monday, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Pier 21, Canada’s national immigration museum, during their four-day tour of Canada.
It was, Marienne Ferguson told the BBC, “just a little remark. I didn’t think it was going to make such a big uproar”.
It has had significant ramifications because it was uttered by a man who will one day be head of state.
The British monarchy is in a period of subtle transition. Prince Charles is, slowly, taking on more of his 88-year-old mother’s workload. As a result, there’s a renewed focus on the type of king he will become.
Privately, Charles - a passionate prince - probably won’t be too bothered he’s highlighted the actions of President Putin.
Others at Buckingham Palace and the Foreign Office are likely to be less sanguine.
And his critics - he has plenty for a person who’ll one day occupy a unifying role - will see this as yet another example of an unelected hereditary heir meddling when he shouldn’t.
The prince chatted to Ms Ferguson, who left Poland for Canada just prior to the Nazi occupation, and some of whose family died in concentration camps.
“He [Charles] asked when I came to Canada, I told him 1939,” said Ms Ferguson.
"He made the remark that now Putin is doing some of the same things that Hitler was doing.
“I agreed - you know, he is taking countries the same as Hitler did.”
BBC Royal correspondent Peter Hunt commented: "This was an unplanned foray into a vexed international issue.
“Charles’s supporters will argue his views are in tune with those who’ve been appalled by the Russian President’s actions in Ukraine. His critics believe an unelected future head of state should be seen and not heard.”
The Russian president has been widely condemned since he annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the same comparison between Mr Putin and Hitler in March, when Russia began issuing passports to Ukrainian citizens.
“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the '30s,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended the prince over his comments.
He said there was nothing wrong with him having views and expressing them, particularly in private, and said it was unrealistic to expect members of the Royal Family not to have opinions.
Mr Clegg told BBC Radio 5 live: “I certainly support his right to speak freely, particularly in conversations that are private.”
Prince Charles has previously faced criticism at Westminster over his so-called “black spider” memos expressing his views on controversial issues to ministers.