Miss World crowned at Newham’s Excel centre
- Credit: Archant
On a sleepy winter Sunday in the run up to Christmas, while families across the borough tucked into a hot dinner, one of the most glamorous events in the world was taking place.
The final of Miss World 2014 saw contestants from nations across the globe strut their stuff on stage in front of a sell-out audience at the Excel Centre, Royal Docks, and more than one billion people watching worldwide.
The iconic beauty pageant first began in London 64 years ago as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations, returning to the capital once again this year.
A new winner was crowned on the night in the form of Rolene Strauss, representing South Africa. In second place was Hungary’s Edina Kulcsár while USA’s Elizabeth Safrit came in third.
Asked during the competition why she wanted to win the title of Miss World, the 22-year-old medical student said: “Being proudly South African, I have first-hand experience that unity, respect, forgiveness exists.
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“Those [are] all the aspirations of the Miss World organisation, so it would be amazing to represent an organisation that is a beacon of hope all over the world.”
The contestants first arrived in London three weeks ago and have taken part in challenge events including a debate at Oxford University students’ union, a beach fashion competition, talent contest and sports.
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They have also been visiting countries across the globe in the run up to the final as part of the competition’s fundraising arm, Beauty with a Purpose.
Despite hundreds of feminists turning out in protest at the event when it came to London in 2011, this year reports showed just a handful made the effort to stand outside the Excel – with some protestors blaming the cold for a low turn out.