HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, May 21 (UPI) -- Prince Charles was on a tour of Canada when he said Russian President Vladimir Putin was behaving the "same as Hitler."
The comment was a part of a private conversation with 78-year-old Marienne Ferguson, a Holocaust survivor who fled Gdansk, Poland to escape the fate of many Jews in the concentration camps after her city was seized by the Nazis in 1939.
She was relaying her history to the Prince of Wales when he said, "And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler."
The comparison was in relation to Putin's actions including the annexation of Crimea and the stirring of unrest in Ukraine.
Ferguson was telling the media about her conversation with the prince when she told them of his strong words.
"I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do. 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 but it was very heartfelt and honest."
Not surprisingly, the comments did set off a firestorm. Member of Parliament Mike Gapes said on his Twitter account that it is for the parliament and government to dictate foreign policy and not the Royal's responsibility.
In constitutional monarchy policy and diplomacy should be conducted by parliament and government. Monarchy should be seen and not heard.— Mike Gapes MP (@MikeGapes) May 20, 2014
If Prince Charles wants to make controversial statements on national or international issues he should abdicate and stand for election— Mike Gapes MP (@MikeGapes) May 20, 2014
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Prince Charles was "free to express himself" and denounced the reporting of a comment said by the prince during a private conversation.
The royal press secretary said they do not comment on Prince Charles' private conversations.
The Kremlin has not commented on the story.