Saying he and his colleagues often had to “take a life to save a life”, Harry also made reference to having useful video gaming skills which helped in his job.

“Take a life to save a life, that’s what we revolve around. If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game,” said the prince, who is officially referred to as Captain Wales when serving. Harry has completed his four-month tour of duty.

Harry said in the interview that his life in the Army was “as normal as it’s going to get. I’m one of the guys, I don’t get treated any differently.”

The prince compared controlling the helicopter to playing video games: “It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful.”

The statement has been criticised by representatives from both sides.

“To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone – especially a prince, who is supposed to be made of better things,” said official Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who labelled the prince a “coward”.

“It’s not a game. It’s very, very real,” said an unnamed British commander in Helmand province, who said it showed ‘a lack of respect’, according to The Daily Telegraph.

A ‘senior army source’ told The Daily Mail “Harry is flying an attack helicopter and that’s one of the jobs the guys do: Attack. It would be unthinkable for a gunner to go on a deployment and not have several engagements with the enemy. Of course he has killed.”

“In recent months many civilians have been killed by air strikes. This arrogant and insensitive attitude to killing Afghans, whoever they are, is hardly likely to win hearts and minds – a supposed aim of the war,” said Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition.

Harry also discussed the infamous Las Vegas incident last year when he was photographed naked whilst playing ‘strip billiards’ with female companions: “At the end of the day I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down.”

“It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that.”

“But I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect.”

Photos: Getty images