Eric Morley was the one to lay the foundation stone for the oldest international beauty pageant Miss World. It started in United Kingdom in 1951 as a festival Bikini contest, but media publicized it as 'Miss World' and since then, it became an annual event.
In 1980s, the pageant was repositioned as 'Beauty With Purpose' and included the tests for personality and intelligence. About 100 nations have the Miss World franchise. Young ladies from all across the globe participate in the contest and the winner travels the world representing the Miss World Organization for the next one year.
The 2012 title, held at Ordos, (Inner Mongolia) was won by Chinese model and beauty queen Yu Wenxia. This was the second time China took away the title. Yu, a music student aspires to become a music teacher.
Ivan Sarcos, a Diplomacy student in Vanezuela became Miss World 2011. Surprisingly, she was raised amidst nuns in a convent in Cojedes as her parents passed away at the age of 8. Sarcos wanted to be a nun initially, but later discovered her passion towards fashion and started modeling. She was crowned at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. Ivan is the sixth Miss World from her country.
The 2010 title holder was Alexandria Mills, from Kentucky. She was crowned at Sanya, China. 18 years old, 60th Miss World was homeschooled for high school. She wanted to become a teacher and according to her mother, she also has interest in landscape photography. During her reign of Miss World, Mills traveled to China, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Kenya and Hong Kong.
Gibraltarian beauty Kaiane Aldorino was Miss World 2009, with Miss Gibraltar title in the same year. She was the first from her country to make it to the semifinals. Before becoming Miss World, she worked as human resource clerk for five years at St Bernard’s Hospital.
Ksenia Vladimirovna Sukhinova from Russia was the winner in preceding year. The model with blonde hair and blue eyes was Miss Russia 2007. Sukhinova loves swimming, biathlon and calisthenics. Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is her favorite book.
While interacting with media, after winning the title, she said, "I am very glad to have brought this crown to Russia. I am proud that it is Russia that got the crown and I devote my victory to the whole country and to its every citizen... and to my grandmother."
Zhang Zilin, the 2007 winner was also the first Miss World of East Asian origin. A graduate in Business Administration, Zilin now works as a fashion model. Hailing form an academically rich family, her prime focus was studies, but she also excels in triple jump and Hurdles. She has a professional training in 100m hurdles along Olympic gold medalist Liu Xiang. Zhang also lent her voice to 2008 summer Olympics soundtrack and also made an appearance in the music video for the same song.
The 2006 title possessor Tatana Kucharova hails from Slovakia. Her victory was significant for her nation as Tatana was the first girl to take the crown to her homeland. She defeated a whole lot of 103 pretty girls from across the world.
Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir is a model from Iceland and 2005 Miss World title holder. She is a lawyer, anthropologist, master of ceremonies and a model. Unnur enjoys skating, snowboarding, hiking, camping, choreography and playing piano. Her mother Unnur Steinsson was Miss Iceland in 1983. Vilhjalmsdottir has also featured in movies like The Higher Force
Maria Julia Mantilla was Miss World 2004 from Peru. Aspired to become a high school teacher, Mantilla also wanted to have her online tourism company to promote her native place. She was elected as the national athlete in 2001. She is also professionally trained in
(a local dance).
Miss World 2003, Rosanna Davison, daughter of musician Chris de Burgh is from Ireland. Born in Dublin, she was primarily educated at Avaron School. Davison holds a graduation degree in Sociology in Art History. She is also the first Irish entrant to win the title. During her reign as Miss World, she travelled United Kingdon, United States, Canada, Sri lanka, China, Germany, Poland and her very own country Ireland.
Selected as the Elite Model of Turkey, at the age of 17, Azra Akin became Miss World in 2002. She won 2002 Star TV’s Miss Turkey to represent her country in the Miss World contest. Akin has appeared in a number of films and TV series. She bagged a gold medal for participating in British TV reality show The Games
. Azra has fluency in English, Dutch and English.
2001 Miss World, Agbani Darego, also the 51st pageant holder of the international annual competition hails from Nigeria. She is best known as the first black African title holder. Darego was a headstrong teenager and despite of her conservative father’s opposition, she auditioned for M-Net Face of Africa modeling contest, but could emerge as a finalist. Agbani came into lime light only after winning the title of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2001. She was also honored with Nigerian national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger.
2000 winner is the Indian actress, model, songwriter, singer Priyanka Chopra. She is fondly referred to as Piggy Chops by her close friends. Miss Italy, Giorgia Palmas and Miss Turkey Yuksel Ak were the 1st and 2nd runner-up respectively. Post winning the title, she concentrated on Bollywood films and now she is an established actor in the industry. Chopra has been awarded with National Film Award. PC is a trained western classical singer.
List of Miss World Pageants since 1951:
Miss World 1951 - Kiki Haakonson, Sweden
Miss World 1952 - May Louise Flodin, Sweden
Miss World 1953 - Denise Perrier, France
Miss World 1954 - Antigone Costanda, Egypt
Miss World 1955 - Carmen Zubillaga, Venezuela
Miss World 1956 - Petra Schurmann, Germany
Miss World 1957 - Marita Lindahl, Finland
Miss World 1958 - Penelope Coelen, South Africa
Miss World 1959 - Corine Rottschafer, Holland
Miss World 1960 - Norma Cappagli, Argentina
Miss World 1961 - Rosemarie Frankland, United Kingdom
Miss World 1962 - Catharine Lodders, Holland
Miss World 1963 - Carole Crawford, Jamaica
Miss World 1964 - Ann Sidney, United Kingdom
Miss World 1965 - Lesley Langley, United Kingdom
Miss World 1966 - Reita Faria, India
Miss World 1967 - Madeiline Hartog Bel, Peru
Miss World 1968 - Penelope Plummer, Australia
Miss World 1969 - Eva Reuber Staier, Austria
Miss World 1970 - Jennifer Hosten, Grenada
Miss World 1971 - Lucia Petterle, Brazil
Miss World 1972 - Belina Green, Australia
Miss World 1973 - Marjorie Wallace, USA
Miss World 1974 - Anneline Kriel, South Africa
Miss World 1975 - Winelia Merced, Puerto Rico
Miss World 1976 - Cindy Breakspeare, Jamaica
Miss World 1977 - Mary Stavin, Sweden
Miss World 1978 - Silvana Suarez, Argentina
Miss World 1979 - Gina Swainson, Bermuda
Miss World 1980 - Kimberly Santos, Guam
Miss World 1981 - Pilin Leon, Venezuela
Miss World 1982 - Mariasela Lebron, Dominican Republic
Miss World 1983 - Sarah Jane Hutt, United Kingdom
Miss World 1984 - Astrid Herrera, Venezuela
Miss World 1985 - Hofi Karlsdottir, Iceland
Miss World 1986 - Giselle Laronde, Trinidad
Miss World 1987 - Ulla Weigerstorfer, Austria
Miss World 1988 - Linda Petursdottir, Iceland
Miss World 1989 - Andeta Kreglicka, Poland
Miss World 1990 - Gina Marie Tolleson, USA
Miss World 1991 - Ninebeth Jiminez, Venezuela
Miss World 1992 - Julia Kourotchkina, Russia
Miss World 1993 - Lisa Hanna, Jamaica
Miss World 1994 - Aishwariya Rai, India
Miss World 1995 - Jacqueline Aquilera, Venezuela
Miss World 1996 - Irene Skliva ,Greece
Miss World 1997 - Diana Hayden, India
Miss World 1998 - Linor Abargil, Israel
Miss World 1999 - Yukta Mookhey, India
Miss World 2000 - Priyanka Chopra, India
Miss World 2001 - Ibiagbanidokibubo Asenite Darego—Nigeria
Miss World 2002 - Azra Akin—Turkey
Miss World 2003 - Rosanna Davidson, Ireland
Miss World 2004 - Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia, Peru
Miss World 2005 - Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, Iceland
Miss World 2006 - Tat’ana Kucharova, Czech Republic
Miss World 2007 - Zhang Zhi Li, China PR
Miss World 2008 - Ksenia Sukhinova, Russia
Miss World 2009 - Kaiane Aldorino, Gibraltar
Miss World 2010 - Alexandria Mills, USA
Miss World 2011 - Ivian Sarcos, Venezuela
Miss World 2012 - Wen Xia Yu, China PR