R’Bonney Gabriel of the United States was crowned Miss Universe 2022 on Sunday. India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, who won the Miss Universe 2021 title, crowned Gabriel in the glitzy ceremony hosted at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Gabriel, who is a fashion designer and a model, also made history last year as she become the first Filipino American to win Miss USA.
Amanda Dudamel of Venezuela was the first runner-up, and Andréna Martnez of the Dominican Republic was the second runner-up.
R’Bonney Gabriel walked the final round in a sparkly cut-out dark blue colour gown. She’s the 9th American to win the pageant. Olivia Culpo was the last from the United States to win Miss Universe in 2012.
After Gabriel made it to the top 5, she was asked, “Miss Universe recently made an inclusive change allowing mothers and married women to compete this year. What’s another change you’d like to see and why?” reports CNN.
Responding to this, Gabriel said that she would like to see the organisation increase the candidate age limit.
“For me, I would like to see an age increase because I am 28 years old. And that is the oldest age to compete. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is ‘if not now, then when?’ Because as a woman, I believe age does not define us. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday — but it’s now. The time is now,” she said.
Born and brought up in Houston, Texas, Gabriel’s father, Remigio Bonzon “R. Bon” Gabriel, is a Filipino, and her mother, Dana Walker, is American.
Gabriel graduated from the University of North Texas and had a degree in fashion design. She is known for creating eco-friendly clothing.
Over 86 women from all over the world have competed for the title of Miss Universe, including India’s Divita Rai.
(This is a developing story, More details awaited)