Harnaaz Sandhu is the third Indian to win the 'Miss Universe' title, following Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta.

Harnaaz Sandhu, an actor by profession, is the third Indian to wear the crown after Bollywood actor Lara Dutta last wore it in 2000

India's Harnaaz Sandhu waves after being crowned Miss Universe 2021 during the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel. (AP/PTI Photo)

India has had a repeat of history, as Harnaaz Sandhu brought home the coveted title of ‘Miss Universe’ after nearly 21 years. She was crowned the 70th Miss Universe on Sunday by the previous Miss Universe Andrea Meza of Mexico, at the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

 

Sandhu, an actor by profession, is the third Indian to wear the crown after Bollywood actor Lara Dutta last wore it in 2000. Take a look at the moment when Dutta was declared winner.

Till date, India has had only three Miss Universe winners, a pageant that started in the year 1952 wherein Finland’s Armi Kuusela (then 17 years old) won the first crown.

Then, in 1994 India made history when 18-year-old Sushmita Sen became Miss Universe on May 21.

Lara Dutta was crowned on May 12, 2000, when she was only 22 years old.

Harnaaz’s Instagram bio aptly reads, “Shine like the whole Universe is yours”. She had previously won Miss Diva Universe 2021 that propelled her into the Miss Universe 2021 pageant.

The 21-year-old from Chandigarh is believed to have started modelling from a young age, gradually making her way to beauty pageants and winning her first pageant, Miss Chandigarh 2017. According to her Miss Universe delegate bio, she draws inspiration from her mother, who “broke generations of patriarchy to become a successful gynecologist and led her family”.

She is inspired by actor and Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra and her body of work.

The pageant, held in the middle of the night, included displays of traditional, national costumes, evening gowns and swimwear, along with interview questions that tested contestants’ public speaking skills. The second place was taken by Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira, followed by Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane.

 

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