Prince Charles is facing a call for his abdication and a frosty response in Moscow after reportedly comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler over Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Charles blundered into the international crisis over Russia's actions in Ukraine during a tour of Canada, when he spoke to a woman who fled the Nazis and lost family members during the Holocaust. According to the Daily Mail, the prince compared the Russian president to the Nazi leader when talking to Marienne Ferguson, a museum volunteer who moved to Canada with her Jewish family when she was just 13. "Now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler," Charles is reported to have said.
Charles's remarks have been criticised across the political spectrum in Britain: the Labour MP Mike Gapes called for his abdication, while the outspoken Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, said the prince was wrong to get involved. Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, pointedly refused to discuss the issue when approached by journalists.
Labour MP Gapes, a current member and former chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said the prince should have kept his views private. The Ilford South MP tweeted: "If Prince Charles wants to make controversial statements on national or international issues, he should abdicate and stand for election.
Ukip's Farage is reported to have said: "There are times when it might be better for Prince Charles not to get involved in things like this."
Britain's former ambassador to Russia, Sir Tony Brenton, said it was a "grotesque exaggeration" to compare Russia's actions in Crimea with those of the Nazis.