Prince of Wales has sparked a row after he allegedly compared the actions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
Charles appeared to back growing international anger from the West at Russia's actions in Ukraine during hiswhen he spoke to a woman who fled the Nazis and lost family members during the Holocaust.
His remark came duringof the Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when the Prince Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to Second and their families.
Jewish museum volunteer Marienne Ferguson told the Prince that she fled to Canada with herbefore 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) 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.
Charles is due to meet Mr Putin in a few weeks when he attends the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6.
He and the Duchess are currently on a four-day tour of Canada.
Labour (Co-op) MP Mike Gapes, who represents Ilford South, condemned the Prince's comments.
He said on Twitter: "If Prince Charles wants to make controversial statements on national or international issues he should abdicate and stand for election.
"In constitutional monarchy policy and diplomacy should be conducted by parliament and government. Monarchy should be seen and not heard."
HoweverNick Clegg said Charles was "free to express himself".
"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 told BBC Breakfast.
"I think he is entitled to his views. But I don't know whether those were his views because I just don't think providing a running commentary on what were private conversations is useful to anybody.
"I don't know exactly what he did or didn't say in that conversation because he thought it was a private conversation."
Asked if he agreed there were parallels to be drawn, he said: "I'm not going to start comparing one period of European history to another.
"People can make different comparisons from different periods of history if they wish. All I would say is that right now I think the behaviour of Putin is not only menacing to Ukraine but it is very destabilising for Europe more generally.
"That is why we continue to sayRussians, continue to say to Vladimir Putin: step back, de-escalate. It's not in Russia's interests, let alone anybody else's, to continue ratcheting up this tension.”
The Prince is not the first to compare Putin to the Nazi dictator.
Several high-profile figures have made a link between Russian moves against Ukraine, including annexation of Crimea, and German aggression leading to World War Two.
In March, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to clarify remarks suggesting Putin's justification for his incursion into Crimea to protect ethnic Russians was reminiscent ofby Hitler over foreign territories.
"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s," she said, later explaining she had not meant to make a comparison but said lessons could be learned from history.
Germany's conservative finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also denied making similar remarks a few weeks later.
Russia dismisses such comparisons and says Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine are under threat from a Kiev government in the sway of militant Ukrainian nationalists.
Tension has been mounting in the Ukraine since a revolution in the country ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in February.
An interim President, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was appointed and a new an interim government was formed.
Despite the government being recognisedUnited States and European Union, Russia along with some other countries condemned it as illegitimate.
Pro-Russian forces started to appear in Crimea and a referendum was held on whether the country should become part of Russia.
The vote came back as 96 per cent in favour and the peninsular was annexed, but many cast doubts over the ballot's its legitimacy.
Russian forces took over military bases and police stations as Crimea was put under Putin's control.
Since then pro-Russian separatists have continued occupy government buildings in the south and east of the Ukraine, and have pushed for that too to be swallowed up by its neighbour.
Charles has often courted controversy by voicing strong views on the environment, architecture and social affairs. Last year it was revealed he had held 36 meetings with government ministers since Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led coalition took power in 2010.