After two and half years together, Michelle Dockery, who is best known for her role as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, lost her fiancé, John Dineen, to cancer.

Having been introduced by a mutual friend in May 2013, the couple began dating before becoming engaged on Valentine's Day 2015.

And while the public and press speculated about the upcoming wedding, only a select few knew that John had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer to which he eventually succumbed last December at just 34 years of age.

Refusing to discuss her fiance's death in any great detail, Michelle does, however, pay tribute to the individuals who helped her navigate the months which followed his passing.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Michelle credited loved ones for their support, saying: "No one I would name because I am very private about my private life. But friends and family see you through the most difficult times."

Giving an insight into her latest role – a petty thief in US drama Good Behavior – Michelle admits that the opening came at the perfect time as it gave her something to focus on after John's death.

"It was very fortunate for me that this came along at the right time," she explained while admitting that she considers acting 'a release'.

On the day of his funeral, Michelle described John as "my friend, my hero, my king, my everything" before singing The Folks on the Hill – John's favourite song.