The Prince and the Putin

by David Pryce-Jones

In a conversation with an elderly lady in Canada who was a refugee from wartime Europe, Prince Charles let drop that “now Mr Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler.”  This is true in some respects, exaggerated in others.  Both men have justified aggression on the ethnic grounds that they were defending people of their race.  Both have intervened across a border to take advantage of turmoil they attribute to others but which in fact they themselves had stirred up. Opponents of Putin have been murdered and falsely imprisoned, but of course that is in no way comparable to Hitler’s planned exterminations.

“He is an educated man. He is a well-brought-up person,” Putin rebukes the Prince. “This is unroyal behavior. This is not what monarchs do.” It is rather — how shall we put it — enjoyable that a former KGB officer has this kind of advice to give.