Miss France

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Miss France
Motto The most beautiful woman of France
Formation 1920
Type Beauty Pageant
Headquarters Paris
Membership Miss World
Miss Universe
Miss Earth
Official language French
National Director Sylvie Tellier
Website Official site

Miss France is a national beauty pageant for young women in France, originally founded in 1920 by Maurice de Waleffe as « The most beautiful woman of France ».

The pageant is held each year in December, and the winner is designated by the year that begins in the ensuing January.[1] Rights to the trademark are owned by the company Miss France SAS,[2][3] whose director general is Sylvie Tellier, Miss France 2002.[4] Local and regional pageants that provide entrants for the Miss France contest are organized by the Comité Miss France, whose emblematic president was Geneviève de Fontenay during 20 years.[4]

Miss France 2015, Camille Cerf, was chosen December 6, 2014. Her prizes included 100,000 euros in gifts, use of a Paris apartment for one year, and a monthly net salary of 3,000 euros.[5]


The pageant is contested by regional winners of local contests from Metropolitan France and its overseas territories. The method of choosing the winner has varied over the years, ordinarily with a jury of celebrities choosing a set of finalists. The winner in recent years was chosen by a weighting of the jury's opinion and votes of television viewers of the pageant (who pay a fee for each vote). For the Miss France 2010 contest, the winner was chosen entirely by the votes of viewers for the first time.[6]

To become Miss France, it is necessary:[1]

  • to be born female and of French nationality or naturalization,
  • to have an age of 18 to 24 years on November 15 of the year of the contest,
  • to be at least 1.70 meters tall,
  • to be never married and without children
  • to have a clean police record

One should not:

  • have had her image exploited in a manner that could be incompatible or pose an obstacle to the organizers' rights,
  • have taken part in a competing pageant,
  • have appearance prosthetics (wig, colored contact lenses, etc.),
  • have visible tattoos or piercings (except earrings).
  • have ever posed partially or completely naked. Doing so after winning is also prohibited, and causes definitive loss of the title.


La plus belle femme de France[edit]

The first organizer of the Miss France contest was Maurice de Waleffe, a journalist. In 1920 he organized a beauty contest whose winner was to be chosen by filmgoers. The contest was called "La plus belle femme de France" -- "The most beautiful woman of France".[7]

The first contest had 1,700 entrants, from which a jury chose 49 finalists. Each week for seven weeks, filmgoers received a ballot with seven different names. The winner was Agnès Souret.[8] The contest was repeated in 1921, with the winner Pauline Pô, after which it was discontinued.

Miss France[edit]

In 1926, the contest winner was called "Miss France" for the first time. The contest was discontinued after the 1940 contest because of World War II, and de Waleffe died in 1946.[8]

Starting in 1947, several different groups organized national beauty contests, some of which carried the name Miss France. One of them, founded by Jean Raibaut, was formally organized under the name "Club Charly's" in 1950.[8] The contest organized by Endemol traces its roots to a contest run by an informal group led by Guy Rinaldo and Louis de Fontenay that called itself "Comité Miss France" and crowned its first winner in 1947. After the commencement of the Miss World contest in 1951 and the Miss Universe contest in 1952, the "Comité Miss France" formally organized in 1954, with Rinaldo as president, under the name "Comité Miss France - Miss Europe - Miss Universe."[3]

In these early days, however, the organizers of the global contests did not necessarily have entrants who had won what might be considered the corresponding national contest. The entrant for Miss Universe 1953 from France, for instance, was Christiane Martel, who had won the Miss Cinémonde contest, also organized by Rinaldo, and not Sylviane Carpentier, who had won the Miss France contest.[9] Similarly, the entrant for Miss World 1953 was Denise Perrier. As a result, even though France won both the Miss World and Miss Universe contests in 1953, two different women were the winners, and neither was the winner of the Miss France contest.

The Miss France War[edit]

The administrative secretary of the "Comité Miss France - Miss Europe - Miss Universe" was Geneviève Mulmann, who along with Louis de Fontenay ousted Rinaldo on September 14, 1956. Louis and Geneviève subsequently both took the name de Fontenay, presented themselves as a married couple and had two children together, though they never married. Rinaldo formed a rival association called the "Comité Miss France de Paris". And "Club Charly's" continued to name its own Miss France. Several lawsuits and countersuits ensued.[3]

The war claimed its first injury in April 1983. The de Fontenay committee had deposed Isabelle Turpault for posing for nude photographs. After Turpault made some disparaging remarks about Geneviève de Fontenay, Turpault alleged that one of the de Fontenay children, Xavier, punched her on the Champs-Élysées.[10]

In 1986, Geneviève de Fontenay registered the trademark "Miss France" with the Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle (INPI), and defended it from a challenge by the Rinaldo committee. She renewed the trademark in 1996.[3]

In 1999, Eric Morley, founder and organizer of the Miss World contest, revoked the license of the de Fontenay committee and awarded it to the Rinaldo committee, headed by Antoine de Villejoie after Rinaldo's death in 1991.[11] The license was subsequently awarded to Endemol, and starting in 2005 the winner of the Endemol contest or her designated replacement has participated in Miss World.

Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth[edit]

In the early years of the Miss World and Miss Universe contests, it was rare for the winner of the Miss France contest to compete in both (see table below). From 1961 to 1993, however, the winner of Miss France, or her runner-up, generally competed in Miss World or Miss Earth .

In 1971, the Miss France winner, Myriam Stocco, competed in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contests. From then until 1993, 17 of the 23 Miss France winners competed in both global contests.

Starting in 1994, the de Fontenay committee stopped sending the winner or runner-up to Miss World, a situation that led to the shift of the license to the Rinaldo committee in 1999.[11] Since 2005, however, the entrant in both global contests has been the winner of the Miss France contest organized by Endemol or her designated replacement.

Representatives of France[edit]

La plus belle femme de France[edit]

Year Winner
1920 Agnès Souret
1921 Pauline Pô

Pre-World War II[edit]

Year Miss France
1926 Roberte Cusey
1927 Raymonde Allain
1928 Germaine Laborde
1929 Madeleine Mourgues
1930 Yvette Labrousse
1931 Jeanne Juillia
1932 Lucienne Nahmias
1933 Emilienne Quesson de Souza
1934 Simone Barillier
1935 Elisabeth Pitz
1936 Lynne Lassal
1937 Jacqueline Janet
1938 Annie Carrigues
1939 Ginette Catriens
1940 Joséphine Ladwig

Post-World War II[edit]

Boldface indicates winner of the Miss Universe or Miss World pageant ( the only winners from France were in the two contests held in 1953.)

     Winner of Miss France contest
     First runner-up in Miss France contest
     Second runner-up in Miss France contest
     Third runner-up in Miss France contest
     Fourth runner-up in Miss France contest
Year Miss France Miss World France Miss Universe France Miss Earth France
1947 Yvonne Viseux
1948 Jacqueline Donny
1949 Juliette Figueras
1950 Maryse Delort
1951 Nicole Drouin Jacqueline Lemoine
1952 Josiane Pouy Nicole Drouin (4th runner up)[12] Claude Godart
1953 Sylviane Carpentier Denise Perrier (Miss World 1953) Christiane Martel (Miss Universe 1953)
1954 Irène Tunc Claudine Bleuse (3rd runner up)[13] Jacqueline Beer (Top 16)
1955 Véronique Zuber Gisele Thierry (5th runner up)[14] Claudie Petit
1956 Maryse Fabre Genevieve Solare Anita Treyens (Top 15)
1957 Sylvie-Rosine Numez Claude Inès Navarro (5th runner up)[15] Lisa Simon
1958 Monique Negler Claudine Auger (1st runner up) Monique Boulinguez
1959 Monique Chiron Marie Hélène Trové Françoise St-Laurent (Top 15)
1960 Brigitte Barazer de Lannurien Diane Medina (Top 15) Florence Eyrie
1961 Luce Auger Michèle Wargnier (3rd runner up) Simone Darot (Top 15)
1962 Monique Lemaire Monique Lemaire (2nd runner up) Sabine Surget
1963 Muguette Fabris Muguette Fabris (6th runner up) Monique Lemaire (Top 15)[12]
1964 Jacqueline Gayraud Jacqueline Gayraud (Top 16) Edith Noël (Top 10)
1965 Christiane Sibellin Christiane Sibellin (Top 16) Marie-Thérèse Tullio
1966 Michèle Boulé Michèle Boulé (Top 15) Michèle Boulé
1967 Jeanne Beck Carole Noe (Top 15) Anne Vernier
1968 Christiane Lillio Nelly Gallerne (Top 15) Elizabeth Cadren (Top 15)
1969 Suzanne Angly Suzanne Angly (Top 15) Agathe Cognet
1970 Michelle Beaurain Michelle Beaurain Françoise Durand-Behot
1971 Myriam Stocco Myriam Stocco (6th runner up) Myriam Stocco (5th runner up)
1972 Claudine Cassereau Claudine Cassereau Claudine Cassereau
1973 Isabelle Nadia Krumacker Isabelle Nadia Krumacker Isabelle Nadia Krumacker
1974 Edna Tepava Edna Tepava Brigitte Marie Flayac
1975 Sophie Sonia Perin Sophie Sonia Perin Sophie Sonia Perin
1976 Monique Uldaric Monique Uldaric Monique Uldaric
1977 Véronique Fagot Véronique Fagot (Top 15) Véronique Fagot
1978 Brigitte Konjovic Kelly Hoarau Brigitte Konjovic
1979 Sylvie Hélène Marie Parera Sylvie Hélène Marie Parera Sylvie Hélène Marie Parera
1980 Patricia Barzyk Patricia Barzyk (1st runner up) Brigitte Choquet
1981 Isabelle Sophie Benárd Isabelle Sophie Benárd Isabelle Sophie Benárd
1982 Sabrina Belleval Martine Marie Philipps Martine Marie Philipps
1983 Frederique Marcelle Leroy Frederique Marcelle Leroy Frederique Marcelle Leroy
1984 Martine Robine Martine Robine Martine Robine
1985 Suzanne Iskandar Nathalie Jones Suzanne Iskandar
1986 Valérie Pascale Catherine Carew Catherine Carew
1987 Nathalie Marquay Nathalie Marquay (6th runner up) Nathalie Marquay
1988 Sylvie Bertin Claudia Frittolini Claudia Frittolini
1989 Stephanie (Peggy) Zlotkowski Stephanie (Peggy) Zlotkowski Pascale Meotti
1990 Gaëlle Voiry Gaëlle Voiry Gaëlle Voiry
1991 Maréva Georges Maréva Georges (Top 10) Maréva Georges (Top 10)
1992 Linda Hardy Linda Hardy Linda Hardy
1993 Véronique de la Cruz Véronique de la Cruz (6th runner up) Véronique de la Cruz
1994 Valérie Claisse Radiah Latidine Valérie Claisse
1995 Mélody Vilbert Hélène Lantoine Corinne Lauret
1996 Laure Belleville Séverine Deroualle Laure Belleville
1997 Patricia Spehar Laure Belleville[12] Patricia Spehar
1998 Sophie Thalmann Véronique Caloc (1st runner up) Sophie Thalmann
1999 Maréva Galanter Sandra Bretones Maréva Galanter
2000 Sonia Rolland Karine Meier Sonia Rolland (Top 10)
2001 Élodie Gossuin Emmanuelle Chossat Élodie Gossuin (Top 10)
2002 Sylvie Tellier Caroline Chamorand Sylvie Tellier
2003 Corinne Coman Virginie Dubois Emmanuelle Chossat
2004 Lætitia Bléger Lætitia Marciniak Lætitia Bléger
2005 Cindy Fabre Cindy Fabre Cindy Fabre
2006 Alexandra Rosenfeld Laura Fasquel[16] Alexandra Rosenfeld
2007 Rachel Legrain-Trapani Rachel Legrain-Trapani Rachel Legrain-Trapani
2008 Valérie Bègue Laura Tanguy Laura Tanguy
2009 Chloé Mortaud Chloé Mortaud (3rd runner up) Chloé Mortaud (Top 10)
2010 Malika Ménard Virginie Dechenaud (Top 25) Malika Ménard (Top 15)
2011 Laury Thilleman Clémence Oleksy Laury Thilleman (Top 10)
2012 Delphine Wespiser Delphine Wespiser Marie Payet (Top 10)
2013 Marine Lorphelin Marine Lorphelin (1st runner up, Miss World Europe) Hinarani de Longeaux Sophie Garenaux (Top 16)
2014 Flora Coquerel Flora Coquerel (TBA) Camille Cerf (TBA) Laëtizia Penmellen (Miss Photogenic)
2015 Camille Cerf Camille Cerf (TBA) TBA Hinarere Taputu (TBA)

Disputes and vacancies[edit]

The title has been declared vacant on several occasions, with the runner-up generally fulfilling the term of the winner.

Year Winner Replacement Reason
1935 Elisabeth Pitz Giselle Preville Pitz returned her crown after 2 hours and was replaced by Preville.[17]
1954 Irène Tunc Danielle Génault No reason given,[17] though Tunc was already starting to appear in movies.[18]
1956 Maryse Fabre Gisèle Charbit Fabre's election rescinded after public protests. Charbit was elected the following evening.[17]
1961 Luce Auger Michèle Wargnier Auger deposed for being a mother, even though she had informed the organizers.[19]
1966 Michèle Boulé Monique Boucher No reason given,[17] although Boulé competed in both the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants.
1972 Chantal Bouvier de la Motte Claudine Cassereau Resigned because of injuries from a fall from a horse.[17]
1978 Pascale Taurua Brigitte Konjovic Taurua resigned to return to New Caledonia rather than stay in France for a year. The first runner-up, Kelly Hoarau from Reunion Island, declined also, but competed in the Miss World contest. Konjovic, second runner-up, took the position and competed in Miss Universe.[17]
1983 Isabelle Turpault Frederique Marcelle Leroy Deposed for posing nude in a magazine.[17]
1988 Sylvie Bertin Claudia Frittolini Deposed for refusing to participate in Miss Universe contest.[17]
2004 Laetitia Bléger Lucie Degletagne Deposed for six months for posing nude in Playboy. Restored after apologizing. Successfully sued her agent for manipulating her.[17]
2008 Valérie Bègue Laura Tanguy Repudiated by Geneviève de Fontenay for "scandalous" photos in a magazine,[20] but retained her title with the support of Endemol. She agreed not to compete in the global contests. The first runner-up, Miss New Caledonia, Vahinerii Requillart, decided to not compete in Miss Universe because she wanted to continue studying.[21] Tanguy, the second runner-up, competed in the Miss World and Miss Universe contests.[17]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Miss France registration form (in French)
  2. ^ MISS FRANCE SAS sur SOCIETE.COM (in French)
  3. ^ a b c d WIPO Domain Name Decision (in French)
  4. ^ a b L'entreprise "Miss France" (in French)
  5. ^ "Le salaire de Marine Lorphelin, Miss France 2013, dévoilé". 8 July 2013. L’ex-Miss Bourgogne sacrée reine de beauté, touche 3 000 euros tous les mois. Une somme à laquelle il faut rajouter pour près de 100 000 euros de cadeaux en nature (bijoux, voiture, voyage, ordinateur portable, abonnement d’un an dans une salle de gym). 
  6. ^ Miss France 2010 : Malika Ménard élue avec 34% des votes du public (in French)
  7. ^ La société Miss France (in French)
  8. ^ a b c Historique
  9. ^ Critical Beauty - The Miss France Controversy
  10. ^ Critical Beauty - The Miss France Controversy
  11. ^ a b "Miss World and Miss France Statement Issued by Eric Morley", reprinted in "La vérité tirée du chapeau," pp. 132-133
  12. ^ a b c Won previous year's Miss France contest.
  13. ^ MissWorld.com : History 1954
  14. ^ MissWorld.com : History 1955
  15. ^ MissWorld.com : History 1957
  16. ^ Miss World 2006: Meet the Contestants Rosenfeld declined to participate in Miss World after a "sour experience" at Miss Universe.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Palmarès des Miss France depuis 1920 à nos jours (in French)
  18. ^ Irène Tunc at IMDB.com
  19. ^ "Il lui a fallu six ans de procedure pour reconquerir son titre de Miss France", L'Aurore, 7 April 1967, reprinted in "La vérité tirée du chapeau", p. 85 (in French). Despite the title of the article, Luce Auger did not regain her title.
  20. ^ Miss France Valerie Begue Photos Scandal
  21. ^ Vahinerii Requillart décline l'offre du Comité Miss France