By Julio Rodríguez Matute
THE YEAR OF THE WATERGATE SCANDAL.-
In 1974 the world population reached 4 billion people. A famine that lasted months in Bangladesh caused more than a million deaths. Amid the Watergate scandal, US President Richard Nixon resigns; his Vice-President, Gerard Ford, succeeds him. The Carnation Revolution occurs in Portugal, achieving democracy in the country after almost 50 years of dictatorship. There was a Turkish invasion in Cyprus that proclaimed the north of the island as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. An IRA bomb explodes in Westminster Hall (British Parliament) and another five of the Puerto Rican FALN explode in the financial district of New York, while four car bombs explode in Ireland in the same day, leaving dozens of civilian victims. In April, 148 tornadoes form within 18 hours in the central United States, affecting 11 states and causing more than 300 deaths, while Hurricane Fifí causes about 10,000 deaths in Honduras in September and Cyclone Tracy destroys the Australian city of Darwin in December. In October, a 7.6-degree earthquake affected Lima and Callao (Peru), leaving more than 200 victims, with a strong aftershock of 7.2 in November, being the last earthquake recorded in the Peruvian capital. Other earthquakes cause thousands of deaths in Sichuan, China (20,000) and in northern Pakistan (5,300). A Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashes outside Paris, causing 346 deaths in the worst aviation disaster to date. The Caribbean island of Grenada gains independence from the United Kingdom. In October Eric Morley is thrown into politics by the Dulwich Conservative Party but is defeated by Sam Silkin of the Labour Party. Federal Germany wins the Soccer World Cup in its own country by defeating the Netherlands 2 to 1. In March the reigning Miss World Marjorie Wallace from the USA is dismissed (see Miss World 1973 article). Spain’s Amparo Muñoz wins the Miss Universe crown in Manila, the Philippines, and North American Karen Brucene Smith, who competed in Miss World 1971, takes the title of “Miss International 1974” in Japan. The Swedish group ABBA wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England with the theme “Waterloo”. The latest Lucille Ball show is broadcast in the US after 23 years on the air. The “Here’s Lucy” show succeeded “I Love Lucy” and “The Lucy Show”, all broadcast on CBS. American TV premieres “Happy Days” and “The Little House on the Prairie” while in the cinemas, the films “Earthquake”, “Hell in the Tower” and “The Godfather II”. People magazine is published for the first time. American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, British model Kate Moss, Spanish actress Penélope Cruz, Mexican singer Cristian Castro, Mexican actor Eduardo Verástegui, the former Mister and Venezuelan actor Ernesto Calzadilla, Italian singer Laura Pausini and Venezuelan singer Carlos Baute were born this year. In 1974, the American car racer Peter Revson (boyfriend of Marjorie Wallace, Miss World 1973), the President of Argentina, Juan Domingo Perón, and that of France, Georges Pompidou, died; in addition to the American journalist Christine Chubbuck, who shot herself in the head live, while narrating the news on TV in the state of Florida.
NATIONAL COMPETITIONS TO MISS WORLD.-
By 1974 Julia Morley had set the record for 70 directors in as many countries and territories. This year Barbados and Zambia debuted, in addition to the British Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Madagascar returned after many years of absence while Nigeria scrapped the franchise when its national contest was canceled. Three countries did not celebrate their beauty events that year (Luxembourg, Peru and Seychelles) while in Panama and Trinidad-Tobago there was no selection of any representative for Miss World. Initially there would be 65 countries in competition, the same number of entrants they had in Miss Universe that year. Singapore and Iceland did not hold a national contest for the second year in a row, but organizers would send a handpicked representative, while Miss New Zealand had suffered a motorcycle accident after being elected and spent two months at rest, recovering in time for going to Miss World in London. Among the national competitions held are the following:
– Miss France: Held at the Grand Hotel Paris on Friday, December 28, 1973. The winner was Miss Tahiti, Edna Tapava, who went to Miss World representing France. The finalists were Josiane Bouffeni (Miss Val-de-Marne) and Martine Calzavera (Miss Lot-et-Garonne).
– Miss Holland.- On Friday, January 4, the Dutch beauty contest was held with 13 candidates. The winner was Nicoline Broeckx, who went to Miss Universe. The finalists included Gerarda Sophia Balm (the favorite, who was sent to Miss World), Lise van Dort (to Miss Young International), Nanna Beetstra (to Miss International) and Tilla van Mullekom.
– National Beauty Contest (Dominican Republic).- On Saturday April 6, the Acoustic Shell of the El Emperador hotel was the venue for the event that was won by Giselle Scanlon among 16 candidates. Rosa Emilia Fuertes was chosen as Queen of Tourism and Jocelyn Álvarez as Queen of Merengue.
– Señorita México.- Lupita Elorriaga de Sinaloa won the contest held on Saturday May 18, 1974 at the Hotel Camino Real. The finalists were Rebeca Pico Zazueta from Jalisco and Alicia Cardona from Guanajuato. Lupita went to Miss Universe while Rebeca Pico gave up attending the Miss World contest. Then, the organization appointed the titleholder for the world beauty pageant in London.
– Miss Honduras.- It was held in May at the Rubén Callejas Valentine National Gymnasium in Tegucigalpa, with the winner being Ethelinda Mejía (El Progreso), who went to Miss Universe. The princesses were Rosario Elena Carbajal (San Marcos de Ocotepeque), Maritza Bueso Guillén (Santa Rosa de Copán), Margarita Rosa Carbajal (Atlántida) and Gloria López (Catacamas). It was rumored an alleged favoritism of the national director, Norma de Funes, for the Miss Bay Islands, Leslie Zwez, who despite not having classified in the contest, was sent by Funes to Miss World.
– Miss Venezuela.- Held on Thursday, May 30 at the NCO Club of the Armed Forces with 15 candidates. Miss Zulia, Neyla Moronta (to Miss Universe) won. The finalists were Miss Vargas Department, Alicia Rivas (to Miss World); Miss Federal District, Marisela Carderera (to Miss International); Miss Mérida, Gladys García and Miss Yaracuy, Sikiú Hernández. The event was animated by Liana Cortijo and Gilberto Correa and broadcast again by Venevision.
– Miss Costa Rica.- It was held on Saturday June 8 at the Club Cariari with 18 contestants. The winner was Rebeca Montagné (to Miss Universe) and the finalists turned out to be Ilse Von Herold (to Miss International), Rose Marie Laprade (to Miss World) and María Ester Luengo (to Miss Young International). This year Teletica assumes the transmission and sponsorship of the Costa Rican beauty pageant, organized by Mrs. Virginia Maroto de Fernández.
– Miss Commonwealth Bahamas.- Monique Betty Cooper, Miss Fashion Boutique, won the national beauty title on Saturday, June 29. The finalists were Eldora Ruth Knowles, Madeanna Latia Turnquest, Robertha Bobby Edwards and Marsha Ann Thompson.
– Miss Dominion of Canada.- On Monday 1st. July, at Niagara Falls, Sandra Campbell of Leamington, Ontario, was crowned “Miss Dominion of Canada 1974”. Sandra went to Miss International and Miss World 1974 and also to Miss Universe 1975. The finalists were Arlene Copeland and Shirley McGuire.
– Miss South Africa.- The representative of Northern Transvaal, Anneline Kriel, won the “Miss South Africa 1974” crown on Saturday 24 August at the Ster 1000 in Johannesburg. In second place was Ruanne Louw from Natal and third, Anita Michas from the Eastern Province.
– Miss Spain.- The new Miss Spain 1974 was chosen during a gala that was held on August 31, 1974 in Marbella. Natividad Rodríguez, “Miss Tenerife”, twenty years old and a native of Valverde, on the Isla de Hierro, was chosen as the most beautiful woman in Spain from among twenty young people from all the regions that participated in the contest. The runner-ups were Consolación Martín López, “Miss Atlántico” and Consuelo Martínez, “Miss Balearic Islands”. Natividad went to Miss World and on her return to Spain she gave up the title, so the new Miss Spain was Consolación “Chelo” Martín, who went to Miss Universe 1975.
– Quest of Quests.- The Wentworth Hotel in Sydney once again hosted the “Quest of Quests 1974” on Monday 9th September with 21 candidates. The winner, like Australia’s Dream Girl, was Jenny Matthews, who also claimed the title of Miss Universe Australia. The remaining finalists were Jane Reilly (Miss Asia Australia), Alison McKean (Miss International Australia), Gail Petith (Miss World Australia) and Kerry Daniel (Miss Young Australia).
– Miss United Kingdom.- On Tuesday, September 10, in Blackpool, the “Miss United Kingdom 1974” contest was held with the participation of 49 candidates and where the single mother Helen Morgan, Miss Wales, was crowned. She was the first runner-up in Miss Universe. Kathy Anders (Miss England) and Linda Myers were the finalists for the Miss United Kingdom. Curiously, Linda Hooks, winner of the 1972 Miss International, participated in this event, but she did not even rank among the 15 semifinalists.
– Miss World-USA.- The “Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena” of Binghamton, New York, was again the stage to choose “Miss World-USA 1974” on Saturday, September 14, an event won by the representative of Florida, Terry Ann Browning who was crowned by comedian Marty Allen. The finalists were Miss Texas, Kimberly Louise Thomes (who later became Miss USA 1977); Miss Michigan, Marilyn Ann Petty; Miss Arizona, Sherry Love; and Miss Pennsylvania, Constance Marie Rauback. 49 candidates participated. The director, Alfred Patricelli, prohibited the new American beauty queen from continuing her extreme sports practices because she would be hurt in the event of an accident, affecting her participation in Miss World.
– Miss Ecuador.- The 24th edition of Miss Ecuador was held on October 7 at the Teatro 9 de Octubre in the city of Guayaquil, Silvia Aurora Jurado Estrada, from the city of Playas, was the winner. The finalists were Hildale Cevallos Castro, Verónica Maldonado Iriarte, Consuelo Villacis López and Lorena Gilbert Jiménez.
The first casualties of the contest were Miss CYPRUS (Christiana Agathaggelou), Miss PORTUGAL (Alice Vieira) and Miss LIBERIA (Maria Yatta Johnson). In Portugal, the contest was not broadcast on television and the contest had to be suspended and held later due to the revolution that affected the country in April. Even the night of the finals was held behind closed doors and since no jury attended, the organizers had to place as judges guests of the hotel where the contest was held. Due to lack of sponsors, there were no funds to send to London the first runner-up of the contest, who had been designated to Miss World. The Cypriot did not attend either due to the crisis caused by the Turkish invasion of that country and the coup d’état occurred, while Liberia decided to send its winner to Miss Universe (which sent an air ticket) and not to Miss World due to lack of financial resources.
THE START OF MISS WORLD 1974.-
The twenty-fourth edition of Miss World was held from November 8 to 22 in London. However, Miss Jamaica and Miss Nicaragua were the first entrants to reach the British capital. The Jamaican lady on Wednesday the 6th and the Nicaraguan girl on Thursday the 7th. Between November 8 and 12, almost all of the contestants arrived. The first days, the contestants were staying at the Miter House Hotel, near Hyde Park and on the 13th they went to the Britannia Hotel. As in previous years, the security that Miss Israel (of Czechoslovak origin) received was extreme. When her flight arrived at Heathrow, a car was waiting for her at the foot of the plane with several bodyguards to take her to the hotel hosting the event. On Wednesday, November 13, the activities began with the visit of the applicants to the Hampton Court Palace and a group of 16 beauties posed for the Daily Mirror with a thematic photo dressed as high school graduates entitled “Sweet Sixteen.” They were the participants from Venezuela, Gibraltar, Brazil, Australia, Israel, Finland, Madagascar, Spain, Germany, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Austria, Lebanon, Belgium, Greece and Colombia. That night they had a welcome dinner at the Sportsman Club. On Thursday the 14th the young women took a sightseeing tour aboard the “Father Thames” boat on the River Thames and had dinner at another elegant night club. Miss South Africa arrived three days after the schedule, accompanied by an opulent beer and fertilizer magnate who was her boyfriend.
On Friday the 15th, the annual luncheon offered by the Variety Club of Great Britain was held at the Dorchester Hotel and which, as was traditional, was attended by the 55 young women who had arrived up to that moment, all in their national costumes and bringing their national gifts. These gifts would be donated to Earl Mountbatten who would proceed to auction them for the benefit of the children’s causes supported by the Variety Club. Miss Dominican Republic arrived in London that night. On Saturday the 16th, the participants went shopping and in the afternoon they toured the British capital. Among the sites visited was the famous Tower of London and where the young women were photographed with the guards, dressed in medieval style. Security measures had been increased after a bomb had exploded near that tourist site recently. When Miss Guam heard the choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral, she left in tears. She said it made her miss her home. That day it was confirmed that four more candidates would not make it to London for the contest. They were Miss ICELAND (Valgerdur Hjartarsdóttir), Miss MAURITIUS (Nirmala Sohun), Miss PARAGUAY (Elizabeth Brandshab) and Miss TURKEY (Hale Soygazi). That Saturday the program book was sent to the printing press, where the 58 girls who would participate in the event appeared.
AN INCIDENT IN THE HOTEL.-
A peeping peeper tried to convince a Miss World contestant to undress and parade for him naked and then stole her purse when she refused. Miss Denmark discovered the man peering from the balcony into her first-floor hotel room when she walked to the window Saturday night in a bra and panties to breathe in fresh air. The man told the young woman that he was a security officer trying to catch a peeper and asked her to remove her remaining clothing and walk on the balcony to lure the peeper into a trap. Miss Denmark, incredulous of his story, put on a robe and ran from the room. When she returned with a true security officer, the man was gone, along with her purse, which contained $ 36, her passport, and other personal effects. By the way, rumors had spread that she and Miss Germany had agreed to pose nude for US media mogul Rupert Murdoch to question British “sexual obsessions”.
DID NOT COMPETE:
FIRST BETS AND PRESS PRESENTATION.-
On Sunday the 17th, the Press Presentation was held at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square and where 55 of the 56 contestants who were in London posed for pictures. Miss JERSEY (Christine Marjorie Sangan) did not attend because she was somewhat ill. The girls posed, as usual, in swimsuits for the photographers. They were:
Miss AFRICA SOUTH (Evelyn Peggy Williams), Miss ARGENTINA (Sara Barberi), Miss ARUBA (Esther Angeli Luisa Marugg), Miss AUSTRALIA (Gail Margaret Petith), Miss AUSTRIA (Eveline Maria Engleder), Miss BARBADOS (Linda Yvonne Field), Miss BELGIUM (Anne-Marie Sophie Sikorski), Miss BERMUDA (Joyce Ann De Rosa), Miss BOTSWANA (Rosemary Moleti), Miss BRAZIL (Mariza Sommer), Miss CANADA (Sandra Margaret Emily Campbell), Miss COLOMBIA (Luz María Osorio Fernández) , Miss COSTA RICA (Rose Marie Laprade Coto), Miss DENMARK (Jane Moller), Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Giselle María Scanlon Grullón), Miss ECUADOR (Silvia Aurora Jurado Estrada), Miss FINLAND (Merja Talvikki Ekman), Miss FRANCE (Edna Tepava), Miss GERMANY (Sabrina Erlmeier), Miss GIBRALTAR (Patricia Orfila), Miss GREECE (Evgenia “Nia” Dafni), Miss GUAM (Rosemary Laguna Pablo) Miss GUERNSEY (Gina Elizabeth Ann Atkinson), Miss HOLLAND (Gerarda “Gemma” Sophia Balm ), Miss HONDURAS (Leslie Zwez Ramírez), Miss HONG KONG (Judy Denise Anita Dirkin), Miss INDIA (Kiran Dholakia), Miss IRELAND (Julie Ann Farnham), Miss ISRAEL (Lea Klein), Miss ITALY (Zaira Zoccheddu), Miss JAMAICA (Andrea Lyon), Miss JAPAN (Chikako Shima), Miss KOREA (Shim Kyoung-sook), Miss LEBANON (Gisèle Hachem), Miss MADAGASCAR (Raobelina Harisoa), Miss MALAYSIA (Shirley Tan), Miss MALTA (Mary Louis Elull), Miss MEXICO (Guadalupe del Carmen Elorriaga Valdéz), Miss NICARAGUA (Francis “Fanny” Duarte de León Tapia), Miss NEW ZEALAND (Sue Nicholson), Miss NORWAY (Torill Mariann Larsen), Miss PHILIPPINES (Agnes Benisano Rustia), Miss PUERTO RICO (Loyda Eunice Valle Blas Machado), Miss SINGAPORE (Valerie Oh Choon Lian), Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Anneline Elfreda Kriel), Miss SPAIN (María Natividad Rodríguez Fuentes), Miss SRI LANKA (Vinodini Roshanara Jayskera), Miss SWEDEN (Jill Lindqvist), Miss SWITZERLAND (Astrid Maria Angst), Miss THAILAND (Orn-Jir Chaisatra), Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Helen Elizabeth Morgan), Miss UNITED STATES (Terry Ann Browning), Miss VENEZUELA (Alicia Rivas Serrano), Miss YUGOSLAVIA (Jadranka Banjac) and Miss ZAMBIA (Christine Munkombwe).
Miss Denmark complained that she was fed up and bored and preferred smoking all the time. The youngest contestants were Miss Greece, Miss India, Miss Ireland and Miss Philippines at the age of 17 and the oldest was Miss Honduras, a 24-year-old bilingual secretary. The tallest was Miss Australia at 5 feet 11 inches tall and the shortest, Miss Singapore, at 5 feet 2 inches. In addition to Miss United Kingdom, who had competed as Miss Wales and managed to be the first runner-up at Miss Universe, Miss Austria, Miss Belgium, Miss Bermuda, Miss Mexico and Miss Nicaragua participated with her in the Philippines. Miss Canada 1974, Miss Singapore and Miss Switzerland participated in Miss International, while the French entrant had done so the previous year as Miss Tahiti. The Colombian had won the International Coffee Queen that year in Manizales, Colombia. While the representatives of Belgium, France and Holland competed in Miss Europe, the latter was third runner-up.
That night Miss BAHAMAS (Monique Betty Cooper) arrived, who had inexplicably lost herself in Luxembourg on her way to London. A confirmed contestant could not arrive on the arrival deadline, she was Miss TUNISIA (Zohra Kehlifi), who could not participate. After the first presentation of the contestants, the first favorites of the bookmakers began to be noticed. Miss United Kingdom topped the list of favorites with odds of 8 to 1 in the William Hill house. Behind her were Miss South Africa with 10-1, Miss Belgium with 12-1; and with 16-1 Miss Australia, Miss Holland, Miss Israel and Miss New Zealand. Mecca’s agency had Miss UK and Miss South Africa first, both 10-1. Ladbrokes gave Miss South Africa the virtual winner with 8 to 1, followed by Miss Australia with 10-1, while Miss United Kingdom and Miss United States shared third place with 12-1. Joe Coral had five girls with 14-1 odds: Miss Australia, Miss Belgium, Miss Israel, Miss Philippines, and Miss United Kingdom. Regarding the possibilities of the latter, a contest official said there was nothing to prevent a single mother from participating and becoming Miss World.
FIRST AWARDS AND FINAL BETS.-
On Monday, November 18, the beauties attended the customary cocktail in the House of Lords and lunch in the House of Commons, heavily guarded and with extreme security measures because a bomb had exploded months before in Westminster. Member of Parliament Ben Ford said, after glancing at the contestants, that they were too “skinny”. “I prefer them a little better built.” “They need a good meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding,” said the man. Miss USA replied that they were all very healthy girls! Eleven MPs for the Labor Party had asked Mecca to push for the competition to be opened to all races in South Africa and to stop sending two candidates from the same country, one black and one white. The parliamentarians criticized that Mecca was accepting South African racial discrimination by accepting both participants. In the afternoon, the beauties welcomed a group of orphaned children at the Britannia Hotel in Grosvenor Square, where the Misses were staying, to celebrate the “Children’s Tea Party”. Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th were dedicated exclusively to rehearsals at the Royal Albert Hall. This year, the contestants would take part in a musical number, the first one involving the candidates in the history of the contest, where they had to perform “Sing a Song” by The Carpenters. Miss Hong Kong complained that she did not know how to sing and that she would need a lot of practice, while Miss Mexico said that she was willing to help her colleagues as she was part of a folk singing group in her country.
On Thursday, November 21, the participants were interviewed by the jury for five minutes, attended the “Dress Rehearsal” in which Miss Israel was crowned and where the Miss Photogenic award was presented to Miss Yugoslavia and the Miss Personality award to Miss Hong Kong. They paraded in their national costumes which was prerecorded by the BBC and attended the beauty salon to look pretty for the grand finale. Miss Jersey attended despite being afflicted with conjunctivitis. A well-known bookmaker reported that, at the close, Miss United Kingdom and Miss Belgium were ahead in the betting with 10-1, closely followed by Miss South Africa and Miss Australia with 12-1, while Miss USA had down with odds of 16-1. At the close, the bets totaled £ 400,000, a record in the history of the contest.
The election of “Miss World 1974” was held on the night of Friday, November 22. At 8 o’clock at night the show began with the opening of Phil Tate and his orchestra, followed by the British National Anthem. Eric Morley gave the customary words of welcome and left the event in the hands of the comperes Michael Aspel and David Vine, since Morley, for the first time, would be part of the judges of his own contest as President of the same, since Peter Dimmock, who was the BBC broadcast manager and who had served in that role since 1966, had resigned to become CEO of BBC Enterprises. Immediately, Michael Aspel presented the 57 competitors in their evening dresses, in alphabetical order, who, after finishing the parade, ran to dressing rooms to put on their swimsuits. At the end of the evening gown parade of all the entrants, the swimsuit parade began, also in alphabetical order and barefoot. Finally, all the participants returned to the stage and posed in groups of five and six in front of the judges. The jury issued their verdict and Aspel proceeded to call the 15 semifinalists. They were:
Miss AFRICA SOUTH (Evelyn Peggy Williams, an 18-year-old teacher from Claremont, Cape Town); Miss AUSTRALIA (Gail Margaret Petith, a 19-year-old legal secretary from Kensington, New South Wales); Miss BARBADOS (Linda Yvonne Field, 19, of Bridgetown and who worked for her country’s government); Miss BRAZIL (Mariza Sommer, a 19-year-old student from Brasilia); Miss IRELAND (Julie Ann Farnham, 17, model from Ballymun); Miss ISRAEL (Lea Klein, 22, a teacher of physical education in Tel-Aviv); Miss JAMAICA (Andrea Lyon, a 22-year-old flight attendant from Kingston); Miss JAPAN (Chikako Shima, an 18-year-old student from Kanazawa-Shi); Miss NEW ZEALAND (Sue Nicholson, 22, a receptionist of Mount Eden); Miss NORWAY (Torill Mariann Larsen, 20-year-old model from Alesund); Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Anneline Elfreda Kriel, a 19-year-old drama student from Witbank); Miss SPAIN (María Natividad Rodríguez Fuentes, 20-year-old student from Valverde, El Hierro Island); Miss SWEDEN (Jill Lindqvist, a 19-year-old student from Goteborg); Miss UK (Helen Elizabeth Morgan, 22-year-old bank clerk from Barry, Wales); and Miss UNITED STATES (Terry Ann Browning, 20, a Mass Communication student of Ormond Beach, Florida).
There was a 15-minute intermission, enlivened by Phil Tate and his orchestra, while the semifinalists changed to their evening gowns. At 9:25 pm, the broadcast of the event began on BBC-1, for 65 uninterrupted minutes, with the pre-recorded opening number by the dancers of Ralph Tobert and the voices of the Mike Sammes Singers, with the introduction of the 57 candidates in their national costumes. The live broadcast began with Michael Aspel entering the stage to introduce the nine jurors. They were:
1- British statesman John Spencer-Churchill, Tenth Duke of Marlborough.
2- The High Commissioner of Malta in the United Kingdom, August Scerri.
3- British lightweight boxer John Conteh.
4- British TV actress Alexandra Bastedo.
5- Eric Morley, President of Mecca and Chairman of the Judges.
6- Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer.
7- David Hemery, Gold medal-winning British athlete at the 1968 Olympics.
8- English actress and singer Anita Harris.
9- And British TV actor Patrick Mower.
After meeting the jury, Michael Aspel presented the 15 semi-finalists in their evening gowns, with comments from David Vine. Immediately came the swimsuit parade of the lucky 15, this time presented by Vine and with comments from Aspel. The semifinalists then posed in a group in front of the judges and returned to the dressing rooms. Immediately, Michael Aspel called the 7 finalists, whom he interviewed as he named them. They were Miss AUSTRALIA, Miss ISRAEL, Miss JAPAN, Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Miss SWEDEN, Miss UNITED KINGDOM and Miss UNITED STATES. Julia Morley called the Miss Japan’s chaperone to come out with her and help her with the translation, but the girl flinched and didn’t come out. Then, while the judges placed the final ranking and the finalists returned to the backstage, the other 50 competitors returned to the stage to perform the Carpenters’ song “Sing a Song”. Following this, Aspel invited Julia Morley to the stage for the award ceremony, who appeared dressed in an elegant white long-sleeved dress, and Eric Morley, President of the contest, to give the results in reverse order:
Fifth, Miss UNITED STATES, Terry Ann Browning; in the fourth position, Miss AUSTRALIA, Gail Margaret Petith; in third place, Miss ISRAEL, Lea Klein and in second place and runner-up of Miss World, Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Anneline Kriel. They received £ 250, £ 500, £ 1,000 and £ 1,500 in prize respectively. They all received their tiaras behind the scenes and their silver trophies were presented on the stage by Julia Morley.
AND THE NEW MISS WORLD IS… .-
Nervous, behind the scenes, the representatives of Japan, Sweden and the United Kingdom awaited for the final results. Curiously, the British girl was wearing a gold watch on her left wrist and it seems that no one had noticed that !!. Eric Morley then proceeded to announce that the new 1974 MISS WORLD was … Miss UK !!. Helen Elizabeth Morgan, a single mother with an 18-month-old boy, who had been Miss Wales and first runner-up at the 1974 Miss Universe in the Philippines, 22 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 119 pounds, measurements 35-24-35, hazel eyes, brown hair, and whose hobbies were philately, playing chess, riding horses, designing dresses, and driving cars, had become the fourth British Miss World (second from Wales) and the first single mother to be crowned in the twenty-four year history of the contest. Helen received her sash that credited her as the new world sovereign behind the scenes and went out to receive her trophy from Julia Morley, who apparently was not very happy with her triumph due to the seriousness with which she handed her the silver cup. Helen sat on the throne, a page placed her royal robe to be later crowned by Julia Morley herself because, as you know, Miss World 1973, Marjorie Wallace had the crown taken from her head after little less four-month reign because contest organizers objected to the publicity surrounding her private life and friendship with celebrities. Helen took her triumphal walk to the beat of the Miss World march to return to the throne, where she was congratulated by the finalists. Faced with the onslaught of photographers, Helen was promptly removed by a staff member and taken to dressing rooms, while Julia Morley tried to order chaos on the stage. When things calmed down, the brand-new Miss World returned to the stage to pose for the press and give her first statements.
When press asked questions about her son, Helen repeated what she had said months before when she was crowned “Miss United Kingdom”: “I am proud of my baby. I am not married, but I am not ashamed.” “This is 1974. Why can’t single mothers have the same opportunities as others?” asked Julia Morley. Organizers of the annual beauty show, Mecca Ltd, had banned married women from competing, but the contest rules said nothing about single mothers. Miss Morgan said that she, her 18-month-old son, Richard, and the boy’s father, Chris Clode, shared a house in the Welsh town of Barry. “Chris and I reached an agreement more than two years ago, marriage was not for us”, she said. “Our relationship has been very happy”. ” I have to work to support my son, why not work as Miss World? ” the new world queen said. “This is a beauty contest, not a moral contest. If they wanted to prove that the participants are virgins, they would run out of candidates”, she added jokingly. The Coronation Ball was held at the Lyceum Ballroom and where the finalists received their award checks. Miss Sweden, who took sixth place, received her trophy and £ 150 prize, while Miss Japan received £ 100 plus trophy for seventh place. The remaining semi-finalists received £ 50 each. The new Miss World also received her check for £ 3,000 and the chance to win £ 10,000 for advertising and personal appearances throughout the year.
COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE WINNER.-
Helen Morgan’s first day of reign as Miss World passed normally. On Saturday morning she received the press at the Britannia hotel while having breakfast, posed for outdoor photos and went shopping. But some candidates, before leaving for their countries, questioned her choice. Miss Colombia accused the judges of having chosen Miss United Kingdom just for having an illegitimate child. “It is wrong for a single mother to be Miss World,” said the Colombian entry. “The organizers have adopted a double standard. Last year they removed Miss United States for not complying with their rules, but this year they have chosen a girl who is a single mother”. “I think the prestige of the Miss World title has collapsed.” Miss Puerto Rico said: “I disliked this contest and I regret that I came here. It was seen that there could only be one winner and this was Miss United Kingdom”. Miss Spain said: “We think that she won due to being a single mother. We have the impression that the judges read about it and felt sympathy for her”. Miss Venezuela told reporters that Miss Morgan should not have been allowed to compete. “In my country, a girl who has a baby without being married is considered a bad girl, not pure and undefiled, since they make us believe that Miss World should be.” Miss Honduras was one of the few Latin Americans who did not protest and said that she did not regret having come to London to participate in the contest. On the other hand, Miss Morgan ignored the complaints and said she believed the jury had been based on what they had seen in her and not on the fact that she was a mother. “It doesn’t even occur to me that my little Richard influenced their decision.” She also added that she had no intention of getting married. “We are living in 1974, not 1914,” she said.
Eric Morley, president of Mecca and the contest, rejected the allegations, saying that both the candidates and the sponsors knew that Helen had a son long before but that no one had protested until she won. “As far as we are concerned, there is no controversy because Miss Morgan entered under the existing rules and won”. “For my part, I am not prepared to moralize her. We will continue to support her and get as much work as we can for her”. “Some countries are not as liberal as we are. Miss UK has not broken any rules for having a baby”, he said. Morley, who this time served as chairman of the judges, also confessed that he had voted for Miss Australia. He added that he immediately suggested to Miss Morgan after she won that she could be more cunning than most of her critics by retiring after showing that she could win, offering her to keep half of the guaranteed earnings during her year of reign but Helen refused because she thought she had done nothing wrong. So the Morleys had no choice but to support her.
Some directors, or “sponsors” as they were then called, also complained about the triumph of a single mother. Morley gathered these 50 national directors at the Britannia Hotel, giving them a copy of the contest rules, making them see that there was nothing in the rules that prevented Helen from being Miss World. In the end, everyone agreed. However, on Sunday night the 24th, Morley announced that the following year the rules would be modified to prevent single women with children from participating as the title could separate mothers from their children during the year of reign, although he said that this change in the rules had nothing to do with a single mother, Helen Morgan, having won the title in 1974. Julia Morley added: “One does not visualize that in the progress of time we have a different society with fresh problems.”
MISS WORLD RESIGNS.-
For the second time in a year, the controversy had affected the reign of Miss World. Three days after she was elected, a scandal erupted with Raymond Lovegrove, the manager of a Cardiff nightclub, who said Helen had flirted with him and now his wife Linda was threatening him with a divorce, citing the brand-new Miss World. The Sun newspaper said cabaret dancer Linda Lovegrove, 28, would cite Miss Morgan as the other woman in a lawsuit to divorce her husband. The scandal caused the press to question her on this matter and she, not enduring so much pressure, decided that until that moment she wanted to be the world queen. She thought: “I have a son and a family that I love very much. Do I want my private life to be raked every day and see my family hurt?” Then she called the Morleys to abdicate.
Helen Morgan resigned in tears to the Miss World title on Tuesday night, November 26, after being accused of her alleged involvement in a divorce. Eric Morley said Morgan had resigned over the possibility of being called in a pending divorce lawsuit. Another official from the Miss World beauty pageant said they would try to persuade single mother Helen Morgan to keep her title. “Unless she calmly tell me otherwise, I think she should stay,” said Ms. Julia Morley, the contest organizer. Miss Morgan, 22, telephoned Mrs. Morley crying Tuesday night and gave up the beauty crown that she had only had for four days. She said she was resigning due to the possibility of her being named responsible in a divorce case. “Her indication was due to the disturbing nature of certain allegations that she felt she had no choice but to resign”, said Ms. Morley. “She was very upset and overloaded,” she added. “She was so confused that I don’t accept that she really wants to resign. Just because she can be dragged into a divorce case doesn’t necessarily mean she has to resign. I will do everything I can to change her mind”. The controversy over Miss Morgan erupted almost as soon as she won the title over participants from 56 other countries on the night of Friday the 22nd when she was already known to have an illegitimate 18-month-old son. “Helen resigned because of the distressing effect that rumors about her would have on her baby”, said Christopher Clode, who claims to be the father of Morgan’s baby. Eric Morley said her resignation had nothing to do with the baby. Miss Morgan, who would have earned a minimum of £ 10,000 from her year as Miss World, had isolated herself after crying on the morning of Tuesday 26 at a press conference in Carlisle, in the north of England, after which she returned to London by train.
On Wednesday November 27, Helen wrote a letter saying the following: “I think the rumors that are circulating about me will have an undesirable and distressing effect on my child and my family. My child’s well-being is, as it is for any mother, of utmost importance to me, much more important than being Miss World. I would have liked to have continued as Miss World. It is something that every girl desires…”. She was no longer the queen, however, Helen was allowed to stay with the £ 3,000 she had earned as Miss World. So South African Anneline Kriel, the competition’s first runner-up and who was still in London staying at the home of South African Ambassador, Dr. Carel de Wet, was contacted by the Morleys to offer her the title, which she gladly accepted. “I am sorry that I had to win this way. But I have no hesitation in accepting it. It is a great honor for me”, said the beautiful blonde girl. When asked how she felt about Helen Morgan, she replied, “I am very sorry for Helen, very sincerely”. “It is terrible that things ended this way for Helen. I think she was an excellent girl”. The Ambassador said: “I am extremely pleased with Helen; she should have won anyway”. On Thursday the 28th she was officially crowned Miss World at the Mecca headquarters in London, with a celebration party at Tiffany’s and, the next day (Friday the 29th), Anneline went on vacation with her boyfriend Jacques Malan to Paris for a week. Helen was surprised at how quickly Anneline had accepted the title: “I think I wouldn’t have accepted it if I had come second”. After thinking about it, she said she was sorry she had quit and advised the girls to win the title to “enjoy it very much and not quit”.
The day after Helen’s resignation, The Daily Mirror published an interview with Raymond Lovegrove’s wife where she revealed that Richard’s real father was her husband and not Christopher Clode, Helen’s boyfriend. Linda Lovegrove said that she had found a photograph of Helen and her baby in her husband’s wallet and that he had later confessed that he was the true father of Helen’s son. Raymond commented: “When Helen was pregnant, she told me I was the father. When Richard was born, she would occasionally take him to see me and say to the baby, ‘Come see your daddy.’” “She is denying that we had a love relationship but before she won the first beauty pageant, I was planning to leave my wife and marry Helen. I was surprised when the newspapers said that the father was Christopher Clode”. “I am surprised that Helen has denied me, but I am willing to have blood tests to prove my paternity”. But Helen rejected Lovegrove’s allegations. “I know Ray Lovegrove is saying he is the father of my son, but there is nothing further from the truth than that. I do not deny that I know him, but I never went to bed with him. Whoever suggests it is dreaming or saying lies”.
Most of the candidates thought that the winner must have been Miss South Africa. Even though the South African had obtained four winning votes, one less than an absolute majority, she lost to Helen Morgan by one point. Only the judge Shirley Bassey had voted Miss United Kingdom for a winner, but she received five second places, which made her a winner, compared to Miss South Africa who only had a second place. However, the destiny of the South African was to reign as Miss World, even if it was by substitute. Although Anneline fulfilled her obligations as Miss World during the year, in the end she said she was bored with the title, that the organization continued to prefer Helen over her and threatened to hand over her crown in celebration of the contest’s silver jubilee in London in November 1975 wearing jeans. Furthermore, as a representative of South Africa’s white minority and its Apartheid, she was not very well received in many countries. In reality, the fame of Helen Morgan made her, as Miss United Kingdom, much more sought after than the successor Miss World. Helen was always very supported by the public, something that she was very grateful for. For their part, the Morleys announced that starting the following year, the private life of each contestant would be rigorously scrutinized to avoid cases like those of Wallace and Morgan in the future.
Tony Palmer recorded a special during the 1974 pageant called “The World of Miss World” that was released in 1975. In the special, which Eric Morley demanded to be edited before broadcast, it featured images of Miss Austria saying the Miss Universe was a better contest because they treated them like ladies and in Miss World as if they were babies. Miss Jersey declaring after the election that all participants were “very, very upset” with the Helen Morgan win and it showed a hysterical Eric Morley yelling at Miss Switzerland and some assistants during a coronation rehearsal. Some time later, the complete material came out with the images that Morley had requested to be edited …
BIOGRAPHY OF HELEN MORGAN.-
Helen Elizabeth Morgan was born in Walsall, England, on September 29, 1952. Her mother was Elizabeth Morgan. She worked at a bank in Barry, Wales, where she lived. Her parents divorced when she was 17, so she chose to leave her home and go live with her boyfriend, Christopher Clode, 26, a boutique owner, with whom she had a year of relationship. In August 1972 she became pregnant, something she had not planned, but she never contemplated the abortion. In May 1973 she gave birth to her son Richard Lee, a product of concubinage. In June 1974, she was offered £ 30 to enter Miss Wales as a last-minute substitute, an event she won, and in July she was the first runner-up in the Miss Universe won by the Spanish Amparo Muñoz in Manila, Philippines. During the Miss Universe, she would talk to her fellow contestants about her son and show them her photos. On September 10, she won the title of “Miss United Kingdom 1974”. When she won, she confessed that she was a single mother, but the rules of the contest did not prevent a single mother from being Miss World, a contest that she finally won on November 22. She reigned for four days and resigned after being accused of being responsible for a divorce case. However, she continued to reign as Miss United Kingdom and invoiced much more than any other national holder. She resigned from the bank and continued a modeling, film and television career. Helen sold her story to a tabloid who posted it along with topless photos of her. “Now if someone asks me how I look naked, I show them the photos,” she said.
Helen’s relationship with Christopher Clode ended, and in 1978, she made a blind date with businessman Ronny Lamb, whom she eventually married in 1982. She had two more children with him, Ben and Poppy. The family first lived in Surrey before moving to Marbella, Spain. In 2004, she attended the election of Miss Wales as a jury, precisely on the 30th anniversary of her victory. In 2005, WM Magazine readers voted her one of the 50 Most Beautiful Women in Wales, although she was 53 years old. There is no doubt that Helen Morgan has been the most famous British beauty winnerin history !!. Helen, who currently lives in Wimbledon, says that now the Miss World pageant is indifferent to her. “I wouldn’t stay home to watch it on television, but if I had nothing to do I might tune in to watch it.” “Whoever wins will probably find it difficult. The press will always be more interested in a scandal than a winner who does everything correctly.”
BIOGRAPHY OF ANNELINE KRIEL.-
Anneline Elfreda Kriel was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on July 28, 1955 but was raised in the mining town of Witbank, the daughter of prison officer Hannes Kriel and housewife Mary Ann Kriel. She had two brothers, Ernst and Renette. She studied Drama at the University of Pretoria. She made a film called “Somer” and an Afrikaans television show called “Storieboekmoord”. At 19 she won the Miss South Africa crown, held in Johannesburg in August 1974 and in London was the first runner-up to Miss World on Friday, November 22 of that same year. Four days later, British Helen Morgan relinquished the Miss World title and Anneline ascended the throne. After a short vacation in Paris with her boyfriend back then, wealthy businessman Jacques Malan, she returned to London to fulfill her commitments as Miss World. Being a representative of a country criticized for the Apartheid created by the South African white minority, she did not have much demand as a beauty queen in the United Kingdom and the Australians canceled the annual tour that Miss World usually used to do in that country. However, Anneline was well received in the United States, where she participated in various television shows and where she did modeling work. She relinquished her Miss World crown in November 1975 in London, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the contest. Following the end of her reign as Miss World, Anneline embarked on other lucrative advertising and modeling careers that have since kept her on a busy schedule. She received the “Freedom” award from the city of Witbank and was declared an Honorary Life Member of the University of Pretoria.
In March 1976, Kriel was embroiled in a scandal over the leaked photographs, for which she voluntarily posed nude, which appeared in the media and on the front page of the Sunday Times. Roy Hilligenn took the photographs and sold them to a British newspaper for R100,000. The photos revealed that she was sunbathing nude on vacation with her boyfriend back then, Richard Loring. Kriel went from being a Miss World to being a model and worked in Italy for five years. She worked as a model for Birra Peroni on television and magazines. She also worked as a model in Paris and New York with Johnny Casablanca Model Management Agency who offered her a contract for £ 2,500 per month. Kriel also made an effort to learn the French and Italian languages. Thereafter, she became an ambassador for various beauty brands, completing public relations activities. She has also starred in several Afrikaans movies, soap operas, plays, and the internationally successful movie, “Kill and Kill Again,” which debuted second at the United States box office. In 1981 Kriel released the pop single “He Took Off My Romeos”. Kriel returned to South Africa from New York to marry Sol Kerzner in 1980, who owned the Sun International hotel chains and the Southern Sun Hotel Group, owner of the 6-star “Palace of the Lost City” hotel in Sun City, which opened to the public in 1991 and where the Miss World pageants were held in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 2001. His most recent investment had been the Atlantis The Palms hotel in Dubai in 2008. Anneline divorced Sol five years later and married again in 1989 with Philip Tucker in Johannesburg, where they lived and with whom she had two children: Tayla and Witney. They divorced in 1994. Subsequently, Anneline married Peter Bacon on March 28, 1996, who was the CEO and former protégé of Kerzner. The couple lived for a time in Cape Town and currently reside in Mauritius.
In 2017 Kriel suggested then-South African President Jacob Zuma face charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court for failing to protect farmers in South Africa. That same year, the famous studded Krugerrand dress, which Kriel wore as her national costume, was exhibited at the Prins and Prins Diamonds Museum of Gems & Jewelery in Cape Town for public viewing. In 2018 Kriel added another evening gown to the exhibition she wore on the night of the Miss World pageant in 1974. The gown is also on display at the Prins and Prins Diamonds Museum of Gems and Jewels. In 2018 Kriel attended the sixtieth anniversary celebration of the Miss South Africa pageant in Pretoria. On September 7, 2019, Kriel was the guest speaker at the annual update of the Witkruis Monument between Mokopane (Potgietersrus) and Polokwane (Pietersburg) South Africa. Anneline Kriel has remained a remarkable woman. Her personal and public life is inspiring for several young models and actresses struggling to find their rhythm. With the recent award she received in 2019 at Tussen Ons, it is confirmed that she has remained relevant from the moment she became a public figure. Her ex-husbands, Philip Tucker and the tycoon Sol Kerzner, passed away. Tucker on May 26, 2008, at age 59, when he was found drowned in his pool apparently due to an accident, and Kerzner on March 21, 2020 of cancer at the age of 84.
FROM THE OTHER CONTESTANTS.-
Miss Ireland and Miss Canada participated in Miss Universe 1975 in El Salvador, where the Irish woman managed to sneak into the semifinalists. Miss Malta competed in Miss International 1975 and Miss Puerto Rico in the International Coffee Queen, both without success. Miss Dominican Republic became the mother of Larimar Fiallo, Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2004. Miss Colombia is the mother of Carolina Cruz Osorio, vice-queen of Colombia 1999 and semifinalist in Miss International 2000. Miss Africa South married Paul Sheridan and currently lives in Wilmslow, United Kingdom. Miss Austria became a famous actress in her country. Miss Venezuela still lives in Caracas but completely isolated herself from the media and lives her life in the strictest privacy.
Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger, Neil Craig, Sally-Ann Fawcett (Misdemeanour), Norberto Colón, Mario Jérez, Toni Hidalgo, Orlando Ospina, Mills Aldorino, Héctor Dupuy and Glamour Argentino.