It’s the 21st century, we’re struggling to survive a pandemic and the world is not just hosting beauty pageants, but on top of it, even snatching crowns from winners. 

Here’s a look when beauty pageants winners lost their crowns, literally: 

1. When Mrs World physically yanked the crown from Mrs Sri Lanka’s head, even causing her an injury in the process, because Mrs Sri Lanka was a divorcee. 

Mrs World Caroline Jurie snatched the crown right off Mrs Sri Lanka, Pushpika De Silva’s head and forced it on the head of the runner-up.

As per reports, as Silva rushed off the stage, Caroline declared that as per rules, divorcees could not be crowned winners. 

And you thought Miss Congeniality was fiction. 

2. In 2004, the year when Tanushree Dutta was crowned Miss India-Universe, Miss Lakshmi Pandit was crowned Miss India-World but had her title snatched when reports of her being divorced surfaced. 

As per the rules Miss India contestants had to be spinsters, and following the allegations over her marital status, Miss Pandit surrendered her crown. However, reportedly, Miss Pandit had only claimed to be married to seek accommodation, but in reality, had never been married.m 

I am unmarried till date. I have never been through any ceremony either valid or invalid, whether civil, religious or tribal which is recognised as a marriage ceremony in any part of the world and I say that I am legally entitled to the use of the prefix `Miss’ before my name. 

There’s no winning against patriarchy, is there?

3. When Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner in 2015, and while the world memed his goof-up, a young girl’s dreams were left shattered. 

4. Miss World 1973, Marjorie Wallace, was the first American to win the title – a title she lost in 3 months because the organizers didn’t approve of her dating life. 

When reports that Miss Wallace was dating two men at the same time surfaced, pageant officials decided it was reason enough to strip her of her crown. 


You can’t make this patriarchy up! 

5. In 1984, Vanessa Williams became the first African-American to win Miss America, but had to relinquish her title, when her nudes photos were published in the penthouse magazine. 

She’d clicked those photos when she was working as a photographer’s assistant, and they were released without her permission. 


32 years later, in 2016, the then pageant-CEO Sam Haskell apologized to Williams. 

6. 2009 saw a repeat of the 1984 incident, when nude photos of Miss USA, Carrie Prejean, surfaced online. 

Access Online

7. In 2002, Oxana Fedorova, Miss Universe, became the first Miss Universe to be stripped of her crown after winning. The reason: she was a law student and couldn’t comply with the travel schedule expected of Miss Universe. 

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8. In 2007, Christina Silva, Miss California USA, 2007 had to surrender her title a week after the pageant. Apparently, the votes were miscounted. 


Not exactly a fairytale!