During a four-day weekend last week Britain had street parties, carnivals, parades, a special horse-racing day, and a fly-past to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. A fly-past means a group of aircraft that flies in a special pattern during a celebration. The word “jubilee” means a celebration of the day an important event happened many years ago. Platinum is an expensive silver metal but it can also mean the 70th anniversary of an event, such as a wedding. A 50th wedding anniversary is a golden anniversary. Elizabeth II, aged 96, has been monarch (king or queen) of the United Kingdom for 70 years. That’s why the four-day celebration is called the Platinum Jubilee.
It is the first time in history a British monarch has celebrated a Platinum Jubilee. The Queen skipped (didn’t attend) some of the celebrations because she is in frail (weak) health. But the Archbishop of York said at a special church service at St Paul’s Cathedral that she is “still in the saddle” and thanked her for “staying the course.” A saddle is a leather seat on a horse. The Queen is known for her love of horses and horse-racing. When the Archbishop said she was “still in the saddle” he used her love of horses as a way of saying she is still the monarch despite her age.
To stay the course means to continue doing something until it is finished or until you have achieved what you want to do. When the Archbishop said the Queen had stayed the course he meant she had been monarch for 70 years already. But should she still stay the course when she is 96 years old and has been the Queen for 70 years or should she abdicate and let her son Prince Charles be the King? If a monarch abdicates it means he or she makes a formal statement to no longer want to be king or queen. British people love their Queen but I feel she should consider abdicating because of her frail health.