Deputy PM: Prince Charles 'free to express himself'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended the Prince of Wales' right to "express himself" in the wake of his reported controversial comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"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," Clegg said.

More: Prince of Wales 'compared Putin to Hitler' during Canada visit

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Putin attacks Prince Charles over 'Hitler comments'

Russian president Vladimir Putin has described the Prince of Wales's reported comparison of him with Adolf Hitler as "unacceptable" and said such remarks were "not what monarchs do".