A source close to the Prince and Princess of Wales has said that they are "going through hell"

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend a ceremonial welcome for The President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea in 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales confirmed the news that she had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer earlier this year, telling those around the world who have been affected by the disease that they are "not alone" in a video message.

Following her health announcement, the 42-year-old has taken a temporary step back from royal duties as she undergoes preventative chemotherapy, recovering privately in her Windsor home with her family.

"[The diagnosis] of course came as a huge shock", the Princess of Wales stated in her televised health update, explaining how she and Prince William had been doing everything they can "to process and manage this privately for the sake of [their] young family."

"As you can imagine, this has taken time," she continued. "It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK."

As the family of five focus on Kate's recovery, surrounded by a solid support network, a source close to the couple has opened up about the difficult time. 

"I'm heartbroken at the moment", explained Amaia Arrieta, a designer who has worked with the senior royals for over a decade, in a conversation with the Telegraph “I think they are going through hell.”

“I hope they will be back," she continued. "It’s really personal."

It is not known when the Princess of Wales will return to public duty, but she has asked for "time, space and privacy" as she recovers.

“We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment," read her statement earlier this year. "My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery."

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.