Aliki Diplarakou

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Aliki Diplarakou.

Aliki Diplarakou, Lady Russell (Greek: Αλίκη Διπλαράκου; 28 August 1912 – 30 October 2002), was the first Greek contestant to win the Miss Europe title. She previously won the "Miss Hellas" (Μις Ελλάς) title at the Miss Star Hellas Pageant. Her name has been spelled in various ways, from Alice Diplarakou to Aliki Diplearakos and Aliki Diplarakos.


She was a daughter of Georgios Diplarakos and his wife, the former Elena Nicolessi or Nicolessis. She had three sisters:

Although the Diplarakou family lived in Athens, they originally were Maniots from Krini in the Peloponnese. The original family name was Vavouli (Βαβούλη) but it was changed to Aliki's paternal grandmother's maiden name of Diplarakou.


Diplarakou was married twice, her husbands being:


In 1929 Diplarakou entered the "Miss Hellas" pageant as Miss Athens. Her biggest competitor was Miss Thessaloniki Roxani Stergiou (Ρωξάνη Στεργίου), who came in second. Diplarakou won the title and represented Greece at the Miss Europe event in Paris, where she was crowned Miss Europe on 6 February 1930.

That same year the 18-year-old brunette beauty was once more given the chance to represent her country and Europe in the Miss Universe Contest. The event was held on 13 October 1930 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Diplarakou was a runner-up.

She toured the United States giving lectures on ancient and modern Greek culture. Aside from her native Greek language, she also spoke fluent English, French and Italian.

She made headlines in the 1930s when she dressed up in men's clothing and infiltrated Mount Athos, where women are prohibited from entering. The Mount Athos story was later featured in Time on 13 July 1953, in an article titled "The Climax of Sin".[2][3]

When asked by reporters on how she became Miss Europe, she was quoted in Time magazine as saying:

"My mother, some friends and I were at tea one day last year at the British Embassy in Athens when someone for fun suggested we go look at the beauty contest being held in an Athens theatre. We went and sat in a box. The judges... suddenly called out my name. I thought they were fooling... When I tried to refuse, the President of Greece said I must accept as a patriotic duty. Three days later I found myself in Paris: I won the European contest, and of course had then to go through with it and go to Rio."

She also tried her skills in theater, her first appearance being in Prometheus.