SINCE taking up the role of the Prince of Wales’ official harpist in 2007, Claire Jones’ feet have hardly touched the ground.

The girl from Crymych has performed regularly at royal and state functions, at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in April 2011 and became a household name through the international media frenzy surrounding it.

In September 2012, Claire released her classical chart-topping album, ‘The Girl With The Golden Harp’ with Classic FM, and a week later walked down the aisle to marry fellow musician and composer Chris Marshall.

Still in her mid 20’s she was living the dream, cruising the adrenaline highs, the challenges of international travel and high-pressure performances, seemingly with ease.

Just over six months later Claire’s life changed dramatically when after months of debilitating illness, she was diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). The past 18 months have been a journey towards wellness, and her new album, ‘Journey’ is a collection of harp music that became the soundtrack to her own personal odyssey of recovery.

Speaking about her battle with ME, Claire said: “Music and my family are core to my life and I couldn’t accept a prognosis of ‘you have ME you just have to live with it’. I just couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life feeling like I did, never playing the harp and never performing again.

“The tragic thing is that so many people who are diagnosed with ME do have to manage with it, as it’s not generally recognised as being curable. I was extremely lucky to find a specialist ME/CFS who identified and supported the right recovery strategy for me, and fortunate to have the means to undertake that treatment.”

Claire added: “During my convalescence I listened to many different styles and pieces of music. Along with many other nutrition, relaxation and medical treatments, some pieces of music seemed to be particularly beneficial for me. I’ve included these on this album in the hope that the beautiful and moving melodies can help those who live hectic lives to relax and unwind at the end of a busy day, or simply to create a soothing and uplifting atmosphere. But very importantly, I also want to use the album’s release to raise awareness of ME Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

Claire’s latest album was released on March 1 and includes twelve pieces from the world of classical music, including one new composition by her husband, Chris Marshall. It was inspired by their walks together in the Preseli Mountains near Claire’s childhood home. She will kick off her Journey tour at Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan on April 18.