Prince William pays tribute to fundraising Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley

The U.K. lost one of its most celebrated explorers, but Prince William also lost a friend when Henry Worsley died on an Antarctic expedition. The attempt to cross the continent unaided was in a bid to raise money for wounded veterans, and the future King took to Twitter to pay tribute to the former army officer.

William said he and his brother Prince Harry were "very sad" to hear about his loss and pledged to support his family in their time of grief.

henry-worsley- Henry Worsley was received at Kensington Palace before the expedition.

Henry, 55, was just 30 miles short of his goal to become the first person to make a solo crossing, having walked 913 miles over 71 days. He called for help after suffering dehydration and exhaustion and was airlifted to receive medical care on Friday.

His wife, Joanna, announced on Monday that he had died of organ failure in a clinic in Chile.

henry-worsley-2- The statement from Prince William on the death of his friend.

At the time he died, donations to the effort for the Endeavour Fund totalled £106,773. William is patron of the fund, which provides injured personnel with opportunities to undertake sporting and adventure challenge to encourage their self-belief.

In his statement the prince added, " He was a man who showed great courage and determination and we are incredibly proud to be associated with him.

"Even after retiring from the Army, Henry continued to show selfless commitment to his fellow servicemen and women, by undertaking this extraordinary Shackleton solo expedition on their behalf.

"We have lost a friend, but he will remain a source of inspiration to us all, especially those who will benefit from his support to the Endeavour Fund. We will now make sure that his family receive the support they need at this terribly difficult time."

HELLO! Canada magazine is available for your tablet and smartphone. Get HELLO! Canada, PEOPLE, Vanity Fair and over 100 more of the world’s best magazines for one low monthly price at Texture by Next Issue. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial.