Britain's Prince Charles set off a firestorm of criticism during a recent visit to the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he compared Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine with Adolf Hitler's takeover of Czechoslovakia and Poland.
According to the Daily Mail, Prince Charles, who is scheduled to meet with Putin at the D-Day commemorations in France on June 6, made the private comment during a quick tour of Canada with the Duchess of Cornwall.
While they were paying a heartfelt tribute to World War II veterans and their families over tea at the museum in Halifax's docks, Prince Charles was introduced to 78-year-old Marienne Ferguson, a museum volunteer who fled to Canada from Poland with her Jewish family when she was just 13.
Ferguson told Charles that while she, her parents, two sisters and grandmother managed to escape after obtaining permits to sail to Canada, many other family members didn't and they eventually died in Nazi camps.
After Ferguson told Prince Charles her story she said he told her: "And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler." And she agrees.
"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.
"I told the prince that while my family and I were lucky to get a permit to travel, many of my other relatives had permits but were unable to get out before war broke out on September 1. They were sent to the concentration camps and died," she said.
Britain's Labor Party MP Mike Gapes, however, didn't share Ferguson's sentiments and said Prince Charles should have kept his thoughts to himself in a series of tweets.
"In constitutional monarchy policy and diplomacy should be conducted by parliament and government. Monarchy should be seen and not heard," he tweeted.
"If you are heir to throne or monarch what you say matters. Normal 'free speech' argument not relevant. It is for Parlt and govt to use appropriate language to condemn illegal annexation of Crimea. Prince should stop freelance foreign policy," he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended the prince in a BBC report, saying the remark was "clearly a private conversation."
"I have never been of this view that if you are a member of the Royal Family somehow you have to enter into some Trappist vow of silence," he said.