Prince Charles (right) pictured with the Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2003. 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, theguardian.com reports.
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. But the popular Russian daily Moskovskij Komsomolets (MK) said Charles's remarks risked "triggering an international scandal".
MK said Charles's comments risked complicating already "clouded" UK-Russian relations.
Peskov initially said he knew nothing about the comments, according to Sky News. He later told the BBC's Moscow correspondent, Steve Rosenberg, the Kremlin was "not commenting right now" on the story.
The comments came just over a fortnight before Charles is due to meet Putin at the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on 6 June. He and the duchess are currently on a four-day tour of Canada.
A recent visit to Estonia by the prince's youngest son, Harry, was viewed by many commentators as a sign of western support amid fears of a resurgent Russia; the region has seen a rise in tensions since the crisis in Ukraine. Harry also met with Estonian, British and US service personnel involved a major Nato training exercise.