"It is very sad and they tried to make it work but there were just too many issues in the way," an insider told HELLO! magazine. "Elizabeth is taking it one day at a time. She will always be extremely fond of Shane."
The publication understands that Elizabeth and Shane's split has nothing to do with work commitments or problems posed by distance, as the British-Australian couple have often had to spend time apart, living and working at opposite ends of the world.
Instead of celebrating Christmas together as planned, Elizabeth, 48, will be with her 11-year-old son Damian at Donnington Hall in Herefordshire — the new family home she and Shane had bought together. The former Test cricketer, meanwhile, will be in his native Australia with his three children.
The previously engaged couple, who briefly broke up at the end of the summer, seemed to be happily reconciled when they were last pictured together in early November. At the time, Elizabeth had flown out to Sydney for the launch of her eponymous fashion line.
Shane stood firmly by her side and while the Hollywood star did not wear her sapphire engagement ring, the pair looked loved-up, smiling and posing happily for photographs.
Speculation that the couple's relationship was first under strain began when the avid social media users started posting mixed messages on Twitter, back in September.
While Elizabeth told her thousands of followers that "recent events" were "too raw and personal to share right now", Shane wrote on his account, "Yes, we're sorting through some (private) issues. But we're not throwing the towel in yet."
The sports star turned commentator proposed to the brunette beauty in September 2011. Although Elizabeth and Shane failed to set a wedding date, which reportedly sparked differences between the couple, they bought the £6million, 13-bedroom Donnington Hall together and moved in over the summer.
It is unclear whether Elizabeth will continue to live there or sell up and return to her Gloucestershire farm.