It really depends on the group I’m playing with. Yeah, the first time I played, it was the playtest and a huge group so we collectively created the Queen in our head. The first time I facilitated a game, it was with the roll20 playset and I gave the group the option to either use as a jumping off point or we create the Queen on our own. We vaguely used one of the pictures but was really rarely referenced back again in the game.
The time I facilitated IRL with my friend’s deck, that group was 50/50 really creative naturally, and they relied heavily on the image of the Queen we chose from. Though one of my friends/players had watched the playtested game I was in and wanted to know why we didn’t create the queen that way. So probably next time I play with him and if the same group, we’ll not rely on the Queen cards and try the whole create an aspect from own imagination.
I think the Queen cards are gorgeous and varied. I think it helps if you’re playing with people not used to collaborative storytelling and eases them in, gives them more of a active participation whereas the questions on the cards are slightly more passive (until you really get a feel for your character and the Queen and start adding more elements).