Harnaaz Sandhu of India crowned Miss Universe

Model brings title home after 21 years

Peony Hirwani
Monday 13 December 2021 06:49 GMT
India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowned Miss Universe 2021
Leer en Español

Harnaaz Sandhu of India has been crowned Miss Universe 2021.

The 21-year-old model from Punjab represented India at the 70th Miss Universe competition held in Eilat, Israel. She brought home the crown 21 years after actor Lara Dutta won the title in 2000.

Sandhu beat 79 other contestants, including runner-up Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira and second runner-up Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane, to claim the prestigious title.

The previous Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned Sandhu at the event, which was live-streamed globally.

In Israel, the pageant was held in the middle of the night, wrapping up at 5am local time (4am BST) to accommodate the primetime schedule in the US.

The pageant, which was hosted by US TV personality Steve Harvey, included traditional displays of national costumes, evening gowns, and swimwear, as well as a series of interview questions to test contestants’ public speaking skills.

Before winning on Sunday (12 December), Sandhu had previously been crowned Miss Diva 2021 and became the third Indian woman to be crowned Miss Universe, after Dutta and Sushmita Sen (1994).

Sandhu was born and raised in the city of Chandigarh. She began competing in pageantry as a teenager, winning titles such as Miss Chandigarh 2017 and Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018.

After winning the title of Femina Miss India Punjab 2019, the model competed in Femina Miss India, where she ultimately placed in the Top 12.

As Miss Universe, Sandhu will now reside in New York City and participate in a number of events around the world.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in