Invictus Games, launched by Prince Harry in 2014 for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans, has become the latest royal event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Invictus Games Foundation has announced that the upcoming 2020 tournament due to be held in The Hague, Netherlands in May would be postponed for at least a year due to the deadly pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives across the globe, reports Harper's Bazaar.

"In light of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, the Board of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, along with the Invictus Games Foundation, are forced to conclude that organising the Invictus Games The Hague 2020, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, can no longer take place as planned from 9 to 16 May 2020," the foundation said in a statement.

The board further informed that the decision has been taken in consultation with the participating nations' teams and in close coordination with local and national authorities to prevent the spread of the virus on all parties involved in the delivery of, and particularly participation in, the Games.

Prince Harry took to the Invictus Games' YouTube channel to express his disappointment at having to postpone the event. In the video message, the British prince who has been the royal patron of the Games since 2014, said: "As you've all now heard, sadly, we've had to postpone the Invictus Games and move it to 2021. This was an incredibly difficult decision for all of us to have to make, and I'm so grateful for everybody that's worked so hard the last few weeks to find any alternative to try and carry out these games."

Our Patron the #DukeofSussex has released a video message to the #InvictusGames competitors recognising their disappointment at the news, but that it's the best outcome for their safety and recovery. #CoronavirusUpdate #IG2020

— Invictus Games Foundation (@WeAreInvictus) March 19, 2020

The Duke of Sussex added in the message: "This decision was the most sensible and the safest option for all of you, for your families, and everybody else involved in these games."

The 35-year-old also encouraged the Invictus Games participants to take the next 12 months to focus on achieving their top "physical and mental fitness" for the next year's game.

Prince Harry
Photo: POOL / Jeremy Selwyn

"I know how disappointed you must all be. This is a focus that so many of you need. I would encourage you to maintain that focus as best you can. The good thing is you have an extra 12 or so months to be even fitter, to get even fitter than you already are, to be at your absolute top mental and physical fitness, so, in that sense, I'm really excited about the games next year. I'm sorry that we couldn't provide this for you," the father-of-one said.