I have a soft spot for the Queen. Though I’m a lukewarm royalist at best, her Maj makes me smile with genuine affection and admiration.

Something of a conundrum there. She impacts my life hardly at all. I’ll never have long gossipy chats with her on the phone; won’t, in a month of Sundays, be serving her my famous chilli con carne for supper - while playing my extensive collection of Prince CDs. She’ll not be asking to stay in a spare room when she’s had one too many.

But I like her. She feels like a friend.

She’s a constant – funny, feisty, with facial expressions that communicate thousands of words of unspoken incisive opinion. The kind I wish I’d thought of first.

“When I attended the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, some thought it might be the last such event.” She said as she paid tribute and gave thanks to veterans who had sacrificed and risked everything for freedom 75 years ago.

“But the wartime generation – my generation – is resilient.”

Perhaps that’s it. Maybe her resilience is what impresses most – that and her ability to put any man in his place without needing to utter a single word.

Resilience is an underrated quality among those of us younger than HM and the moist-eyed old soldiers to whom she was at pains to show personal gratitude. These days we’d rather fly off the handle in angry accusation than roll up our sleeves and get on with putting things right.

Talking and shouting; looking for someone to blame, demanding furiously that “something must be done” isn’t in any way the same as doing – resiliently.

Yes, I guess it must be that which prompts such deep affection. Or part of it, anyway.

While generally less than a flag-waving enthusiast for all things royal, I’m not daft enough never to fear the alternative. We’ve seen it over the past few days, as Her Maj hosted Donald Trump and his First Lady – not a patch on ours, by the way – for a state visit of pomp, pageantry and protests.

He clearly had a ball. It’s probably not too far from the truth to suspect he might have cast envious eyes over the trappings of our royal heritage... and the National Health Service, of course.

But even for The Donald, who must by now be aching for a crown, a golden carriage and universal respect, money can’t buy everything. Yet.

I can’t help but wonder if, when the Queen is no more, our monarchy will slip quietly away leaving us to the mercies of a republican carry-on, with a puffed-up president of these little islands – even more adrift at sea than we are currently.

But that, God willing, will be a long way off. For the foreseeable we do have at least one constant – a woman with colourful coats, matching hats, empty handbags and resilience.

There’s a royal visit to Cumbria coming up. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be here next week to celebrate the resilience and spirit of rural and farming communities. And goodness knows, there’s plenty of both here still.

They will see how tireless work done by Cumbria Community Foundation has helped address severe local challenges, meet volunteers from the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, talk to young people who have trained as mental health first aiders and listen to farmers networking to support each other through hard times.

In other words, they’ll engage with “doers” rather than “talkers”.

Judging by some of the online comments about the upcoming event (plenty are less than interested - snidely dismissive, in fact - of the significance or purpose of the visit) one can only assume the complainers are neither farmers nor country dwellers.

That’s okay. All opinions are allowed – for the time being. And as a lukewarm royalist (sort of), I can see some might have more pressing things to do than wave a flag on June 11.

But just a point for the most heavily critical. Constants, once lost, can’t be reclaimed.

Be careful what you unwittingly wish for.

We’ve seen the alternative – and it ain’t pretty.