Logo of the Miss World event
|Key people||Eric Morley|
The Miss World pageant is the oldest surviving major international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley's wife, Julia Morley, co-chairs the pageant.
The winner spends a year travelling to represent the Miss World Organization and its various causes. The current Miss World is Yu Wenxia of China. Traditionally, Miss World lives in London during her reign.
Miss World started as the Festival Bikini Contest, in honour of the recently introduced swimwear of the time, but was called "Miss World" by the media. It was originally planned as a one-off event. Upon learning about the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, Morley decided to make the pageant an annual event.
Opposition to the wearing of bikinis led to their replacement with more modest swimwear after the first contest. In 1959, the BBC started broadcasting the competition. The pageant's popularity grew with the advent of television. During the 1960s and 1970s, Miss World would be among the most watched programmes of the year on British television. However, in 1970, the Miss World contest in London was disrupted by women's liberation protesters armed with flour bombs, stink bombs, and water pistols.
In the 1980s, the pageant repositioned itself with the slogan Beauty With a Purpose, with added tests of intelligence and personality. However, in the 1980s, the competition became seen as old-fashioned and politically incorrect in its native Britain, and despite its global appeal, stopped showing on British television until Channel 5 aired it briefly in 1998, then shifted between lesser-known satellite channels, and is now webcast only and little-known in Britain.
21st century 
Eric Morley died as the pageant entered the new century. His wife, Julia, succeeded as chairwoman of the Miss World Organization.
The century saw its first black African winner, Agbani Darego of Nigeria, in 2001. As part of its marketing strategy, Miss World came up with a "Vote For Me" television special during that edition, featuring the delegates behind the scenes and on the beach, and allowing viewers to either phone in or vote online for their favourites. It also sells its Talent, Beach Beauty and Sports events as television specials to broadcasters.
In 2002 the pageant was slated for choosing Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria to host its final. This choice was controversial, as a northern Nigerian woman, Amina Lawal, was awaiting death by stoning for adultery under Sharia law there, but Miss World chose to use the publicity surrounding its presence to bring greater global awareness and action to Amina's plight (see Controversies section).
Miss World Organization 
The Miss World Organization owns and manages the annual Miss World Finals, a competition that has grown into one of the world’s biggest. Since its launch in 1951, the Miss World Organization has raised more than £250 million for children’s charities. Miss World is franchised in more than 100 countries. Miss World, Limited is a privately held firm, and thus figures for its earnings, expenses and charitable contributions are not publicly available.
Aside from raising millions of pounds for charities around the globe under the banner of its "Beauty with a Purpose" program, Miss World is also credited with directly influencing a dramatic increase in tourism in Sanya, China, host city of the Miss World finals in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010.
The pageant 
In the year preceding the global finals, each delegate must win her national title or a specially designated Miss World national preliminary. Miss World's national preliminaries are conducted by their licence-holders, who hold the franchise to use the "Miss World" name in their country. The annual final is typically a month long event, with several preliminary galas, dinners, balls and activities, culminating in a globally telecast final show in which the field is narrowed to between 15–20 delegates.
- Venezuela has won the Miss Photogenic award four times (1984, 1990, 1995, 1996).
- Four Miss World winners were awarded Miss Photogenic: Astrid Carolina Herrera (Venezuela, 1984), Aishwarya Rai (India, 1994), Jacqueline Aguilera (Venezuela, 1995) and Diana Hayden (India, 1997).
Challenge Events (Formerly known as Fast track awards) 
Since 2003 Miss World pageant also features Fast Track events during the preliminary round. The winners of Fast Track events are automatically qualified to enter the final round.
Since 2011 winners of the challenge events are no longer automatically qualified to enter the final round. Instead, winners and finalists of these events will be awarded bonus points to their preliminary scores. Delegates with the highest points (bonus of challenge events included) are qualified to enter the final round.
Challenge (Fast Track) events which have been used since 2003 are:
- Beach Fashion (Formerly known as Beach Beauty) (2003–present)
- Miss Talent (2003–present)
- Miss Sports (2003–2004, 2006–present)
- Beauty with a Purpose (2005–present)
- Top Model (2004, 2007–present)
- Multimedia Award (2012)
- People's Choice (2003)
- Personality (2003)
- Contestant's Choice (2004)
- Two Miss World winners were awarded Miss World Beach Beauty: Rosanna Davison (Ireland, 2003), Kaiane Aldorino (Gibraltar, 2009).
- Two titleholders have also won Miss World Top Model: Zhang Zilin (China, 2007), Ksenia Sukhinova (Russia, 2008).
- One titleholder have also won Miss World Talent: Yu Wenxia (China, 2012).
- Kiki Håkansson of Sweden, Miss World 1951, reigned for the longest period in Miss World history: 475 days (almost 16 months) from the time she was crowned on 29 July 1951 in London, UK.
- Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir of Iceland, Miss World 2005 reigned for the shortest period in Miss World history: for just 294 days (less than 10 months) by the time she crowned Taťána Kuchařová of the Czech Republic on 30 September 2006.
- There were three times consecutive victories in Miss World history:
- May Louise Flodin of Sweden, was crowned Miss World 1952 by Miss World 1951 Kicki Håkansson of Sweden.
- Lesley Langley of United Kingdom, was crowned Miss World 1965 by Miss World 1964 Ann Sidney of United Kingdom.
- Priyanka Chopra of India, was crowned Miss World 2000 by Miss World 1999 Yukta Mookhey of India.
- The longest interval between title wins belongs to Peru; Madeline Hartog-Bel won the title in 1967 and, 37 years later, María Julia Mantilla became the second recipient from Peru.
- The first Latin-American to win Miss World was Susana Duijm of Venezuela, crowned in 1955 in London, United Kingdom.
- The first black African to win Miss World was Agbani Darego of Nigeria, crowned in 2001 by Priyanka Chopra, Miss World (Miss World 2000) at Sun City, South Africa.
- Miss World remains the only one of the major international pageants with two winners resigned or dethroned: Miss World replaced Helen Morgan in 1974 and Gabriela Brum in 1980.
- Eight Miss World winners placed as runners-up or semi-finalists in the Miss Universe pageant. They were: Susana Duijm—semi-finalist, Venezuela 1955; Corine Rottschäfer—semi-finalist, Holland 1958; Rosemarie Frankland—first runner-up, Wales 1961; Madeleine Hartog Bell—semi-finalist, Peru 1966; Eva Rueber-Staier—semi-finalist, Austria 1969; Helen Morgan—first runner-up, Wales 1974 (dethroned); Gina Swainson—first runner-up, Bermuda 1979 and Agbani Darego—semi-finalist, Nigeria 2001.
- Three Miss World delegates placed as finalists/semifinalists in the pageant prior to their win at Miss International: Brucene Smith of USA, Top 7 finalist at Miss World 1971;Goizeder Azua of Venezuela, Top 10 finalist at Miss World 2002; and Anagabriela Espinoza of Mexico, Top 15 semifinalist at Miss World 2008.
- Two Miss World winners placed as runners-up in the Miss International pageant: Catharina Johanna Lodders of the Netherlands, third runner-up at Miss International 1962; and Aneta Kręglicka of Poland, first runner-up at Miss International 1989.
- Sophie Perin of France was a Miss Universe and Miss World delegate who didn't place at both pageants and later won the Miss International title in 1976.
- Anne Lena Hansen of Norway and Christina Sawaya of Lebanon didn't place at Miss World and later won the Miss International title in 1995 and in 2002, respectively.
For the full list of venues, see List of Miss World titleholders.
- 7 winners have been crowned Miss World on their home turf:
- 1961: Rosemarie Frankland (United Kingdom) was crowned in London, UK.
- 1964: Ann Sidney (United Kingdom) was crowned in London, UK.
- 1965: Lesley Langley (United Kingdom) was crowned in London, UK.
- 1974: Helen Morgan (United Kingdom) was crowned in London, UK. (Subsequently resigned)
- 1983: Sarah-Jane Hutt (United Kingdom) was crowned in London, UK.
- 2007: Zhang Zilin (China) was crowned in Sanya, China.
- 2012: Yu Wenxia (China) was crowned in Ordos City, China.
- 5 winners have crowned their successors on their home turf:
- 1961: Rosemarie Frankland (United Kingdom) crowned 1962: Catharina Lodders (Holland) in London, UK.
- 1964: Ann Sidney (United Kingdom) crowned 1965: Lesley Langley (United Kingdom) in London, UK.
- 1965: Lesley Langley (United Kingdom) crowned 1966: Reita Faria (India) in London, UK.
- 1983: Sarah-Jane Hutt (United Kingdom) crowned 1984: Astrid Carolina Herrera (Venezuela) in London, UK.
- 1990: Gina Tolleson (United States) crowned 1991: Ninibeth Leal (Venezuela) in Atlanta, USA.
- Outside United Kingdom, South Africa has hosted the most Miss World pageants, with seven. The various locations were:
- Apart from the United Kingdom and South Africa, the other states to host the pageant more than once are:
- The following is a list of winners from 2000 to 2011.
- For the full list of titleholders, see List of Miss World titleholders. For the full details, see Full Country Rankings for Miss World.
|Year||Country/Territory||Miss World||National title||Location|
|2012||China||Yu Wenxia||Miss China||Ordos City, China PR|
|2011||Venezuela||Ivian Sarcos||Miss Mundo Venezuela||London, United Kingdom|
|2010||United States||Alexandria Mills||Miss World United States||Sanya, China|
|2009||Gibraltar||Kaiane Aldorino||Miss Gibraltar||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|2008||Russia||Ksenia Sukhinova||Miss Russia||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|2007||China PR||Zhang Zilin||Miss China||Sanya, China|
|2006||Czech Republic||Taťána Kuchařová||Miss České Republiky||Warsaw, Poland|
|2005||Iceland||Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir||Ungfrú Ísland||Sanya, China|
|2004||Peru||María Julia Mantilla||Miss World Perú||Sanya, China|
|2003||Ireland||Rosanna Davison||Miss Ireland||Sanya, China|
|2002||Turkey||Azra Akın||Miss Turkey||London, United Kingdom|
|2001||Nigeria||Agbani Darego||Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria||Sun City, South Africa|
|2000||India||Priyanka Chopra||Miss India World||London, United Kingdom|
Winners gallery 
Miss World 2004
Maria Julia Mantilla, Peru
By number of wins 
|Venezuela||6||1955, 1981, 1984, 1991, 1995, 2011|
|India||5||1966, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000|
|United Kingdom||1961, 1964, 1965, 1974 (resigned), 1983|
|United States||3||1973, 1990, 2010|
|Iceland||1985, 1988, 2005|
|Jamaica||1963, 1976, 1993|
|Sweden||1951, 1952, 1977|
|China PR||2||2007, 2012|
|Germany||1956, 1980 (resigned)|
|South Africa||1958, 1974 (took over title in November 1974)|
|Trinidad & Tobago||1986|
|Guam||1980 (took over title on 28 November 1980)|
Number of titles by continental region 
|Europe||28||United Kingdom* (5), Iceland and Sweden (3), Austria, Germany*, Netherlands and Russia (2), Czech Republic, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Poland and Turkey (1)|
|Americas||15||Venezuela (6), United States (3), Argentina and Peru (2), Bermuda and Brazil (1)|
|Asia & Oceania||9||India (5), Australia and China (2), Guam*|
|Caribbean||7||Jamaica (3), Dominican Republic, Grenada, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago (1)|
|Africa||4||South Africa* (2), Egypt and Nigeria (1)|
- NOTE - Helen Morgan (United Kingdom) and Gabriella Brum (Germany) resigned and were replaced by their respective 1st runners-up: Anneline Kriel of South Africa in 1974 and Kimberley Santos of Guam in 1980.
Continental queens of beauty 
The following is a list of Continental Queens of Beauty winners since 2004.
|Year||Africa||Americas||Asia & Oceania||Caribbean||Europe|
Sophie Elizabeth Moulds
Alize Lily Mounter
Emma Britt Waldron
Maria Karla Bautista
Queens of beauty titles 
These are the countries with the most Continental Queen of Beauty titles per continental group (region in bold) throughout the years:
|Country||Titles||Awarded as||Winning years|
|Americas||1981, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2008, 2011|
|Africa||1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2009, 2011|
|Caribbean||1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2012|
|Oceania||1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989|
|Asia & Oceania||1991|
|Asia & Oceania||1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2008|
|Asia & Oceania||2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2012|
|Asia||1983, 1984, 1985|
|Asia & Oceania||1993, 2004, 2011|
|Asia & Oceania||1988, 1995, 2005, 2009|
|Asia & Oceania||1989, 1992|
Pageant controversies 
The Miss World pageant has been the target of many controversies since its inception.
- In 1970, feminist protesters threw flour bombs during the live event at London's Royal Albert Hall, momentarily scaring the host, Bob Hope.
- In 1973, the judges made their final rankings of the seven finalists by assessing each one's personality, stage presence and the ability to speak before an audience. The Majority Vote System determined the final rankings of the seven finalists. Odd numbers of judges were always used, to prevent ties from occurring. Chairman of the judges in 1973 was Peter Dimmock, Head of BBC Outside Broadcasts. The winner, Marjorie Wallace, was fired on 8 March 1974, because she had failed to live up to the "first-class public image" of the position. However, she is still the official titleholder, as the Miss World title was not offered to the runners-up.
- The 1974 winner Helen Morgan representing the United Kingdom was forced to resign four days later after it was discovered she was an unmarried mother.
- In 1976, several countries went on a boycott, because the pageant included both a Caucasian and African representative for South Africa. South Africa competed for the last time in 1977, before it was welcomed back in 1991 as that policy disintegrated.
- The 1980 winner Gabriella Brum of Germany resigned one day after winning, initially claiming her boyfriend disapproved. A few days later it emerged that she had been forced to resign after it was discovered that she posed naked for a magazine.
- In 1996, wide-scale protests took place in Bangalore, India, over the hosting of the beauty contest. The swimsuit shootings were moved to the Seychelles, and heavy security was placed. Despite the chaos, the pageant's live telecast went on smoothly.
- Just days after her 1998 crowning, Israel's Linor Abargil revealed that she had been raped only two months before the pageant. The man who raped her was later convicted.
The 2002 Nigeria contest 
In the year leading up the finals in Nigeria, several European title holders lobbied their governments and the EU parliament to support Amina Lawal's cause. A number of contestants followed the lead of Kathrine Sørland of Norway in boycotting the contest (despite the controversy Sørland would go on to become a semifinalist in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contest), while others such as Costa Rica were instructed by their national governments and parliaments not to attend the contest. Among the other boycotting nations were Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Panama, Belgium and Kenya. There was further controversy over the possibly suspended participation of France and South Africa, which may or may not have been due to the boycott. For her part, Lawal asked that contestants not suspend their participation in the contest, saying that it was for the good of her country and that they could, as the representative of Sweden had earlier remarked, make a much stronger case for her on the ground in Nigeria.
Despite the increasing international profile the boycott was garnering in the world press, the contest went ahead in Nigeria after being rescheduled to avoid taking place during Ramadan, with many prominent nations sending delegates. Osmel Sousa of Venezuela, one of the world's most influential national directors, famously said "there is no question about it (the participation of Miss Venezuela in the contest)." The trouble did not end there, however. A ThisDay (Lagos, Nigeria) newspaper editorial suggesting that Muhammad would probably have chosen one of his wives from among the contestants had he been alive to see it (this suggestion would have been considered an insult to most Moslems because contestants bared themselves in bathing suits which is considered immoral by conservative Muslim standards), resulted in inter-religious riots that started on 22 November in which over 200 people were killed in the city of Kaduna, along with many houses of worship being burned by religious zealots. Because of these riots, the 2002 pageant was moved to London, following widely circulated reports that the representatives of Canada and Korea had withdrawn from the contest and returned to their respective countries out of safety concerns. A fatwa urging the beheading of the woman who wrote the offending words, Isioma Daniel, was issued in Nigeria, but was declared null and void by the relevant Saudi Arabian authorities. Upon the pageant's return to England, many of the boycotting contestants chose to attend, including Miss Norway, Kathrine Sørland, who was ironically tipped in the last few days as the number one favourite for the crown she had previously boycotted.
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