Prince Charles set to meet Vladimir Putin on a beach in Normandy – how awkward could it be?

Prince and Putin still on course to attend D-Day memorial after ‘Hitler’ comment

He may have been likened to Hitler, but Vladimir Putin is still on course to attend the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings to celebrate the allies “fighting together against Nazism” – with the Prince of Wales.

The pair will be attending the same event at Sword Beach in Normandy next month, the site at which British troops landed to stormed Nazi positions at the end of the Second World War.

Despite the attendance of world leaders such as President Obama and Francois Hollande and the presence of 2,000 Allied veterans, for many it will be the Prince and Putin who will warrant the most attention after the Russian President rounded on Prince Charles following his remarks in Nova Scotia last Tuesday.

The Prince was speaking to Marianne Ferguson, 78, who explained that her Jewish family had escaped Nazi-occupied Danzig during WWII, and Prince Charles reportedly told her that “Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler", drawing what has been seen as a parallel between the dictator’s behaviour and Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March.

Russia has strongly criticised the Prince since his comments were revealed, and on Friday the Kremlin-backed Russia Today launched a scathing attack on the Royal Family, claiming that “Russia has asked for an explanation though although I’m not sure why, because if anyone knows real Nazi’s it’s the Royal Family.”


President Putin has since left his own message for the Prince, declaring that the criticism of his actions in Ukraine was “unacceptable” and “not what monarchs do”.

Speaking to reporters in St Petersburg, Putin said the situation “reminds me of a good proverb: ‘You are angry. That means you are wrong’.”

Putin added that he had a personal message for the Prince, declaring: “Give my words to Prince Charles. He has been to our country more than once, if he made such a comparison, it is unacceptable and I am sure he understands that as a man of manners.”

He added: “I met him personally as well as other members of the Royal Family. This is not what monarchs do. But over the past few years we have seen so much, nothing surprises me any longer.”

However, Prince Charles’s comment does not appear to have derailed President Putin’s intention to honour the Allies’ efforts alongside Russia’s next month.

Discussing the upcoming memorial event, President Putin said: “During the Second World War, we were allies and we were fighting together against Nazism. As you know very well, the peoples of the Soviet Union and the people of Russia sacrificed a lot to win the war and achieve our joint victory over Nazism.

“That is why it is quite natural that we are going to have a meeting in Normandy and we are going to pay tribute to our coalition partners, to the British, the American and the French.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride