Mireia Lalaguna Royo of Spain was crowned Miss World 2015 Saturday, beating 116 other contestants in the pageant held this year at the Beauty Crown Grand Theater in Sanya, China. The 23-year-old professional model was handed her glittering crown by the reigning Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss of South Africa. Sofia Nikitchuk of Russia and Maria Harfanti of Indonesia were the first and second runners-up, respectively.
“Just because I am beautiful on the outside does not mean I am not beautiful on the inside too,” Royo said Saturday after winning the contest’s Top Model challenge event, according to the Telegraph.
Mireia Lalaguna Rozo of Spain waves after winning the Miss World 2015 title in Sanya, China, on Dec. 19, 2015. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Royo, who comes from Barcelona, is studying pharmacology in hopes of one day starting her own business in nutrition and dietetics. She also enjoys traveling, listening to music, playing the piano, running, reading and skiing, according to her profile on the official website of the Miss World Organization.
“Miss World is more than a beauty contest. I want to be an ambassador for the complete woman and be able to show the world that beauty is more than an external aspect,” Royo says on her profile page.
The Miss World contest started in the United Kingdom in 1951 and is one of the oldest, most publicized international beauty pageants. Contestants from more than 110 countries competed in the final of the 65th Miss World competition. Traditionally, the newly crowned Miss World will spend their winning year in London and travel around the globe representing the Miss World Organization.
This year’s contest was not without controversy. Canadian contestant Anastasia Lin was denied a Chinese visa to compete at Miss World 2015 after criticizing China’s human rights record before the U.S. Congress in July. Lin, who was born in China and moved to Canada in 2003, has been praised for her outspoken opposition and defense of Falun Gong, a spiritual group regarded as a cult by the Chinese government, BBC News reported.