IT is truly shocking that the 42-year-old Princess of Wales has been diagnosed with cancer, and our hearts go out to her and to her family.

Receiving such a diagnosis suddenly and unexpectedly changes everything and it takes time to come to terms with it. As the king has also revealed he has cancer, it must have been a hugely perplexing time in the palace.

Yet these days, there is great hope of a full and healthy recovery. That is our fervent wish for Catherine.

It is positive that the princess’s condition is now out in the open. This will, hopefully, end the appalling misinformation that has been slewing around social media.

Catherine must now focus on her recovery and on her children but, in time, the royal family can come to play a vital part in the battle against a disease that will hit one in two of us during our lifetimes. She has already begun, with a selfless, and truly inspiring, message at the end of her video: “At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

Catherine is also not alone. She not only has her family but the whole country rooting for her – as indeed, we hope, does every one of the 1,000 people who receive this diagnosis every day.