Prince Charles compares Putin to Hitler, draws heat from Russian and British sides
By End the Lie
Prince Charles of England is facing heat from all sides after comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler over the Russian annexation of Crimea.
The heated response to Prince Charles’ statement is significantly more widespread than when former secretary of state Hillary Clinton compared Putin to Hitler in March.
While Prince Charles and Putin used to be friends, he apparently is taking a stand against the Russian leader’s actions in eastern Europe in what the Huffington Post UK called “a staggering break from Royal protocol.”
However, the Kremlin has reportedly dismissed the comments, saying they “couldn’t trust” the Daily Mail’s report.
“I don’t know anything about it. I can’t really trust the Daily Mail as a source,” Putin’s spokesman said, according to Sky News.
Charles’ comments came in the form of an aside to Marienne Ferguson, a Jewish museum volunteer who lost relatives in the Holocaust. Charles spoke to Ferguson during his visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia on Tuesday.
“And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler,” Charles reportedly said.
Ferguson said she agreed with his comments and believes many others do as well.
“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,” Ferguson said.
Charles is slated to meet with Putin in France on June 6 for D-Day commemorations, though there is speculation about the meeting being called off over the remarks.
A spokesman for Clarence House said it would not comment on private conversations like the one between Charles and Ferguson.
“We would like to stress that the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation,” the spokesman said.
Clarence House said Putin and Charles will not be meeting on June 6, and that they “never had” been planning to meet, according to the Daily Mail.
While it is unsurprising that Charles would receive criticism from Russian quarters, as he did from a Russian newspaper, he also was slammed by a British member of parliament.
Labour MP Mike Gapes has called for Charles to “abdicate and stand for election” if he wants to make controversial statements, according to the Guardian.
Meanwhile, the popular Russian daily newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets said the comment could “trigger an international scandal.”
Furthermore, the paper said it risked complicating already “not unclouded” relations between the UK and Russia.
“The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, risks triggering an international scandal and complicating the already not unclouded relationship between Britain and Russia,” the paper said.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended Charles’ comments.
“I have never been of the view that if you are a member of the Royal family somehow you have to enter into some sort of Trappist vow of silence. I think he is entitled to his views,” Clegg said, according to the Telegraph.
Clegg said he would not begin comparing today’s events to the 1930s, but defended Charles’ right to express himself.
“Prince Charles is able, I would have thought, to be free to express himself. I don’t know exactly what he did or didn’t’ say in that conversation because he thought it was a private conversation,” Clegg said.