For most of us, she has just been there — through good times and bad, a beacon of hope and stability.
So, I was fascinated by a recent article from top psychiatrist Dr. Max Pemberton, who argues that the strong emotions the royals generate in us are a healthy thing.
Republicans who wish to abolish the monarchy argue it is an outdated, costly and undemocratic institution.
But they never acknowledge the feel good factor that following the ups and downs of this real-life soap opera induce.
“Whether a royalist or not, we cannot help but be psychologically invested in them,” says Dr. Max of the National Health Service (NHS).
“We project so much on to them and look to them as archetypes of our own family and our own relationships.
“They are potent symbols and come to represent our hopes and fears.
“Just look at how we have been obsessed with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 10th wedding anniversary.
“I’ve been amazed at work as even non-royalists have been talking about it.
“Partly, I think we’re all desperate for some good news, and being thrown back 10 years to their fairy-tale wedding is like a breath of fresh air.
“But I think it also goes deeper than that.
“It speaks to us of how love does endure, and how good can prevail.”
Dr. Max noted that after Princess Diana’s death there was briefly a 50 percent decrease in admissions to psychiatric units after a very public outpouring of grief.
“People were really grieving for something else, but it is easier and less painful to cry for someone you have never met.
“Diana’s death had allowed people to express their own pent-up distress, and, through the collective grieving, had felt connected to others.”
“It’s unfair of us to project so much onto a group of people, who are, despite all the pomp, only human.
“Perhaps this is why we held onto Kate and William.
“After such an awful, unsettling year, we needed something to show us that love does conquer.”