LONDON — British politicians and royal-watchers expressed criticism, and some sympathy, Wednesday at reported comments by Prince Charles comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine to the territory-seizing of Adolf Hitler.
The Daily Mail reported that the heir to the British throne made the comments in Halifax to Marienne Ferguson, whose family fled Poland before it was invaded by the Nazis in 1939.
Ferguson, who volunteers at an immigration museum Charles visited, said when she told Charles about her family background, he replied that Putin is doing the same thing as Hitler. Russia recently annexed Ukraine's Crimea region.
"I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do," Ferguson was quoted as saying. "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."
The reported comments caused a media storm in Britain, where Charles has sometimes been accused of compromising the royal family's political neutrality with his strong views on topics including education, architecture and the environment.