October 18th, 2010
07:38 PM ET

Queen Elizabeth II gets a piece of Chile's national pride

President Sebastian Piñera gives Queen Elizabeth II a rock from the San Jose mine.

Judging purely by appearances, the gift from Chile's president to Elizabeth II did not seem fit for a queen.

He gave the monarch a rock. But it was not just any rock. The stone that President Sebastian Piñera brought all the way from Chile to Buckingham Palace was from the bottom of the San Jose mine, once the underground prison of 33 miners and now a symbol of Chilean national pride.

Ever since the miners were rescued last week, Chile's newspapers have heralded "the Chilean way" in which the operation was carried out, opining that it will help the country move beyond the dark shadow of its military dictatorship past.

As part of his European tour, Piñera explained in detail to the queen how the rescue was carried out, according to a news release from his office.

It was unclear what the queen planned to do with the rock gift.

soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Kim

    That's cool.

    It meant a great deal to give that to the QofE, considering the hell that Chileans have gone through in having to get those miners out.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lilarose in Oregon

      Since the Queen has everything anyway, and since she is always interested in history and the unusual, I am sure she enjoyed and appreciated receiving this rock. I would have, also. Not every gift has to have monetary value.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • camel

      she promptly threw it away into her garden saying "That rock is an illegal immigrant, and im 80 friggin years old why would i play with rocks and dirt?"

      October 19, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • pringles

      pet rocks were so 1980s stop telling this lady shes old

      October 19, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • jhurt

      The texan guy who reached the miners with his drill would be a better recipient. He would actually deserve it as he is a damn hero too. The Queen of england? come on. South America and the world should stop supporting useless monarchies. They do not serve any purpose whatsoever, even if they dont' slave people around the world anymore.

      October 19, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Autumn Angel

      It was a nice thing to do but she didn't look happy....It would have been nicer to give it to the people who put hard work into getting the men up. That rock would of meant more to them

      October 19, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • merecat

      No wonder people are not unified.. Always have to put nationalism in things. Yes A Texan helped drill, many other countries helped. That isn't what matters, the fact that they were saved and can take these rocks to whomever they wish. Nationalism the Great Divider.

      October 19, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dani3l

    This is a fine gesture. The rock will likely go to the British Museum.

    October 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Allen

    She's British. She'll toss it across the Channel at the French.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rawr


      October 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Epidi

      Hahaha! Good one!

      October 19, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |


    October 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      read the article Parrot, this was not chavez, it was pinera. from chile

      October 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick

    Elizabeth: You dropped your rock.
    Pinera: A test of manhood.
    Elizabeth: You win.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • RosaFranklin

      LOVE the Braveheart reference.

      October 19, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Michael

    I am really surprised why the Britishers even have a Queen and pay hundreds of millions of dollars to her family. Here US and UK have started wars to spread Democracy. Then UK itself has no SHAME to continue with its Monarchy. The Queen has a pay of millions of dollars, thats why Charles could have all the time to play Golf and dump Diana.They plundered the world for hundreds of years, own assets worth billions of dollars, DO NOT WORK,and still get the people of UK to give them millions of dollars to maintain their lifestyle. Guys, WAKE UP, there is NO PLACE for Queens and Kings and their Prince's in a REAL DEMOCRACY. and if the Miners suffered, what did the queen do to ease the pain of their family ? Why should it be cool ?Are not the Royalty there to help the SUBJECTS ( i am not interested to be one of their sujbects ). THROW THEM OUT , Make them work for their Wealth , treat them like Normal people.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SilverGryphon

      You sir, are a flaming idiot. The royal family does not get paid "Millions of dollars". The Royal family really has no say in politics anymore. The British have democracy.

      October 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Griff

      Your knowledge of Britain is amazing.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Say What!!!

      I would choose a democracy with a royalty like that of England's over lot of other democracies in the world without monarchy...

      October 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Thats pretty funny , I actually don't think Charles plays golf, but then nothing else you said made much sense either.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • roger

      The crown estates pays Britain's treasury just under £200 million pounds a year. In return, the treasury pays the Queen just under £8 million pounds a year (the civil list). Even with my rusty math skills, I can figure out that the treasury is coming out ahead by more than £192 million pounds each year. Something else to consider is that the Coca Cola Company spent about $2.5 billion (that's billion with a 'b') on advertising last year. My guess is that Coca Cola would kill to generate the same positive PR that England gets from the queen (especially if they could get it for £8 million pounds a year). Whether England should have a monarchy or not is a fair question. Your argument that it is too costly, however, doesn't hold water (or Coke, if you prefer).

      October 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lilarose in Oregon

      If I were to travel to Europe, which I hope to do before I am the Queen's age, I would go to England primarily to see all the historic and royal places. The Brits commanded the high seas for centuries–that tiny little island is steeped in amazing history which encompasses most of our genealogy here in America. Britain needs the Queen if for no other reason than tourism income. She is one of the wealthiest people in the world, and she made that money through wise investment of her private resources.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      She is the Queen of Canada too and we are proud of that.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      Your surprised that the Brits have a Queen? Well, we in the USA have King Obama, or at least he thinks and acts like he is. But then again we have our queen, Michele, just ask her how many servants she has that she calls staff.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • KellyinBoston

      "Britishers"? Please tell me that you're kidding. Jesus.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anilin

      I agree, Lilarose, and I have been there twice. There is something just so special about it.

      October 19, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Dudeman

      Hey man he is right, what is with that Queeny woman and her money, you Brits need to have your asses kicked again like we did in the tea party.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Autumn Angel

      true..Diana should have been Queen you always seen her in the News the only time you really hear of the queen is when its her B-day. What the hell dose the Queen really do But have parties, ride horses. wave, and I don't get it why should the people pay her to have a good life when people are out of work. I heard she was not having a X-mas party this year? she should have one for the PEOPLE of her Country. FEED THEM before you FEED the RICH People

      October 19, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Because they love the Queen. Durp.

      October 19, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Buffalo bill

      Gee, are you envious or what?

      October 19, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. james

    The Royal Family ROCKS.....but not those kind.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. frank

    How bout a rock for Pennsylvania, the man who drilled the hole to get to the miners was From PA.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • PURRCY

      Frank, what makes you think those people who worked at getting the miners out of their predicament didn't get whatever souvenir they may have wanted? I'm certain they took home things to display in their homes, their companies, and their museums.

      October 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Did the guy from PA didn't get paid? As far as I'm concern if I'm paying you to dig a hole, that hole is mine, not yours. In other words, this rescue was possible because the Chileans not the honorable people form PA

      October 18, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ozzimus

      Four of the drillers were from Colorado and if I'm not mistaken NASA also had experts assisting as well in the efforts.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Laura

    Glue some googly eyes on it and have it make friends with all her corgis?

    October 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. snickers

    ah, that just came from his backyard, he's just pretending.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Well... Still a Chilean rock, didn't it?

      October 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      I was thinking the same thing. How would she ever know?? Maybe he picked it up on the way to the airport.

      October 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tomcat

    i thought they were all gone. but no as the devilish creature has been dormant for years biding its time. please lock your doors watch the kids bring in the pets. its back dare i call it by name? the pet rock with a certificate of authenticity can be yours. oh the travesty

    October 18, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Randy

    It may seem a rock to some but it represents all the courage of the miners and all the help they got from around the world. The President was there to hug everyone as they came out and I am sure he would not have left for Europe if they were not all out. The Queen understands all this as she has seen wars and situations many times during her reign. Don't make fun of the rock. It could end up in the British Museum. Let anyone say there has been a better, more thought out, engineered rescue.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tomcat

    bet walmart jumps all over this.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tomcat

    no disrespect to the miners or the rescuers (how many from nasa and other US companies) you think the queen gives a rats butt about the rock? if she is a closet geologist tell her to go kiss the Blarney Stone

    October 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      Your right, the USA did come in with drilling equimpment and operators, drill the hole, all while NASA employees gave encouragement and advise to keep them alive physically and mentally. Germany donated a nontwisting cable, and other countries donated what they could. When they were done, they calmly packed up their stuff and went home. Let the miners and Chile ralish in the warmth of the success. It was a team effort and we do not have to pat ourselves on the back all the time.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Well, you're a rude one.

      October 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. betty

    Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

    October 18, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Why don't you try reading a real book?

      November 3, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
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