Prince Harry, who was deployed in Afghanistan twice during his 10-year service in the British Army, has expressed sadness at the ongoing capture of the country by the Taliban.

The Duke of Sussex, whose Invictus Games foundation aims to provide mental and physical support to sick or injured serving/veteran military personnel, encouraged military veterans to seek support from one another as they watch the devastating situations in Afghanistan. In a joint statement issued with Dominic Reid, the CEO of Invictus Games, and Lord Allen of Kensington, Chair of the Foundation, Harry said, "What's happening in Afghanistan resonates across the international Invictus community."

The statement shared on the Invictus Games Foundation's Twitter account further read, "Many of the participating nations and competitors in the Invictus Games family are bound by a shared experience of serving in Afghanistan over the past two decades, and for several years, we have competed alongside Invictus Games Team Afghanistan."

"We encourage everybody across the Invictus network — and the wider military community — to reach out to each other and offer support for one another," the statement concluded.

The 36-year-old, who joined the British Army in 2005, had participated in a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2007 where Canadian and British forces were participating in the NATO-led Afghan War. While the deployment was kept secret at the time as Harry was a high-value target being a senior royal, it was reported the following year that he helped Gurkha troops repel an attack from Taliban insurgents, and performed patrol duty in hostile areas while in Afghanistan. He was presented with an Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan by his aunt Princess Anne for his time in the war zone.

The tour made him the first member of the British royal family to serve in a war zone since his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew helicopters during the Falklands War in 1982. Harry later trained for flying military helicopters, and it was announced in 2011 that he would be available for deployment in current operations in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot.

In September the following year, the royal arrived at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan as part of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps, to begin a four-month combat tour as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter. Within just a few days of his arrival, Taliban threatened his life, with its spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid telling Reuters: "We are using all our strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping. We have informed our commanders in Helmand to do whatever they can to eliminate him." However, Harry finished his 20-week deployment in the country and left as an Apache aircraft commander.

Afghanistan British troops
January 2, 2008: Prince Harry mans a machine gun on the observation post at JTAC Hill, close to FOB Delhi (forward operating base), in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan John Stillwell/Pool