Just like the Miss Universe pageant the Miss World pageant also had a number of crown changes. But did you know that the practice of crowning MW winners only started in 1955?
The very first winner Kerstin ‘Kiki’ Haakonson wasn’t crowned during the Festival Bikini Contest, as it was only the press that named the contest as Miss World. The victory rites during her time involved standing at the highest level of a podium (much like the Olympics) with a bouquet and sash. Throughout the history of the pageant the crown has been changed eleven times.
The first ‘crowned’ winner was Venezuela’s Carmen Susana Duijm. It was only used 3 times. The second crown was used at the crowning of South Africa’s Penelope Anne Coelen in 1958. It was only used for that edition of the pageant. In fact the three crowns after the original was used only once each.
The fifth Miss World crown was used for 9 years and the UK’s Rosemarie Frankland was the first to wear it. The crown made the pageant’s record for the first to be used in 9 consecutive editions. It concluded its run in 1969 with Austria’s Eva Reuber-Staier in 1969.
Jennifer Hosten of Grenada was crowned with a new one in 1970. The crown was nicknamed the jester’s crown/ the fool’s crown because of its design. That year was also controversial as the Prime Minister of Grenada was among the judges. It was also the year where the MW allowed two ladies from South Africa to compete (one black, one white) because of the apartheid issue.
In 1972 a new crown design was again used. It was only used for that year but its tenure wouldn’t end there as it is poised to make another comeback later. Belinda Green has the distinction of being the first to wear that crown.
1973 & 1974 were the years of short-lived reigns and short lived crowns. Marjorie Wallace like her rhinestone crown didn’t last long. Helen Morgan’s crown only lasted a year as well. By 1976 yet another crown was used, this time it was Jamaica’s Cindy Breakespeare’s honor to wear that crown. The crown was worn by 3 winners and lasted until 1978.
The crown design of 1972 made a comeback by 1979, Gina Swainson was first to wear the revised crown and it has been used ever since.