The Queen has died at the age of 96, and if you’re feeling disorientated, distressed or in a state of disbelief about the news, you’re certainly not alone.

Though we all knew this may be coming – the Queen has missed several events in recent months due to ill health – it’s still natural to feel shocked by the death of someone who’s been a constant presence throughout our lives.

The nation derived a sense of “stability and security from the Queen’s very existence”, says psychotherapist Lucy Beresford.

“Particularly in her later years, she had become the nation’s grandmother, for some the grandmother they had never had,” she adds.

“As a result, the primary feeling people will have is a sense of disorientation. Now that the Queen has died, there is another dimension to the loss which we also saw when Diana died, which is a sense of guilt, that ‘maybe I shouldn’t have such strong emotions about the death of someone I have never met’. But this is to underestimate the importance of the Queen in our national psyche.”

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