Frenchwoman Iris Mittenaere was crowned on Monday in the Philippines as the winner of the 65th Miss Universe pageant.
Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier, 25, was named first runner up and Miss Colombia, Andrea Tovar, 23, was the second runner up.
Mittenaere, a 24-year-old born in the northern French city of Lille, is pursuing a degree in dental surgery. She is only the second contestant from France to win the title in the past 64 years since Christiane Martel won in 1953.
The crowned Miss Universe said after winning the title that she is very proud to bring this crown to Europe. “I think France and Europe really need a Miss Universe because there’s been a lot of time Europe (had) no Miss Universe”. “I really love this crown,” she added.
During the pageant in Manila, Mittenaere said countries had the right to close or open their borders to refugees but European countries like France had chosen to welcome refugees.
“Having open borders allows us to travel more to the world and to find out what’s out there in the world,” she said, in a reply that earned her a spot in the final three.
The new Miss Universe said after the competition that the question about the refugees was “a little bit difficult,” but she answered from her heart. She also stated that in French, freedom, equality and fraternity are the three words they believed in.