Britain’s Prince Charles stoked controversy during a visit to Canada by comparing the recent actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s to those of Adolf Hitler, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
The British newspaper said several witnesses heard the prince make the comment to Marienne Ferguson, a 78-year-old who fled the Nazis aged 13 and lost family members in the Holocaust.
“I… talked with him about my own family background and how I came to Canada,” Ferguson told the Mail.
“The prince then 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,” she added. “I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they (the Royal Family) aren’t meant to say these things but it was very heartfelt and honest.”
The British heir met Ferguson during a tour of the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of his four-day trip to Canada with his wife Camilla.
He is due to meet with Putin at D-Day commemorations in France on June 6.
Clarence House have so far declined to comment on the reports.