Prince Charles 'compared Putin to Hitler' in private conversation

Prince of Wales reportedly made comments during visit to the Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Prince of Wales has compared the actions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler during a conversation with a woman who fled the Nazis, it has been claimed.

Marienne Ferguson, a former Polish war refugee, said the comment was made while she was speaking with Prince Charles at the Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she volunteers. The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall had been visiting the museum to pay tribute to Second World War veterans and their families.

Prince Charles's remarks came as he is due to meet with President Putin to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on 6 June.

Ms Ferguson told the Prince she fled to Canada with her family shortly before the Nazis annexed the Baltic coastal Free City of Gdansk in 1939.

After meeting Charles, Mrs Ferguson, 78, said: “The Prince 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.

“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.

“I told the Prince that while my family and I were lucky to get a permit to travel, many members of my relatives had permits but were unable to get out before the war broke out on September 1.

“They were sent to the concentration camps and died.”

The Daily Mail  reported the comparison was made at the end of his visit to the museum and was overheard by several witnesses.

Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's press secretary did not respond to the claims. He told Sky News: "I don't know anything about it. I can't really trust the Daily Mail as a source."

A spokesperson for Clarence House said it would not comment on private conversations. However, it did say: “We would like to stress that the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation.”

The alleged comments follow Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, a move that was widely condemned by the West, who declared a referendum on absorbing the Black Sea peninsula illegitimate and illegal. 

The former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton previously drew comparisons between Mr Putin and Hitler after Russia began issuing passports to Ukrainian citizens, which Ms Clinton claimed was "what Hitler did back in the '30s".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'