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Beauty with a Purpose

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Diana Hayden - Miss World 1997
Diana Hayden - Miss World 1997
Hydrabad Street Children's Charity
Diana presenting a Charity cheque

And “Miss World 1997 is … Miss India”

by Diana Hayden

From that moment on, my life was never to be the same again. I was catapulted into this fairy-tale existence where I travelled the world first class, stayed in the presidential suites and was treated like royalty.

Based in London, I travelled at least three times a month to various parts of the world, throughout the year. A few of the countries I visited are Switzerland, Spain, Canada, America, France, Germany and of course the beautiful islands of the Seychelles.

Every month or so, I’d return to India. If it wasn’t for work it was for a quick visit to catch up with my friends and family. I believe there is nothing like travel to make one grow within themselves. A few of my cherished memories would be:

My visit to Cannes for the premier at the Cannes Film Festival. Puerto Rico where I visited a school for disabled children and made a special new friend there. His name is Fernando and he is 12 years old. My signing with L’Oreal, as their new L’Oreal International Girl, ensured that I travel to Paris every so often (and all I need is half an excuse to visit Paris!). The United Kingdom, where I was introduced to the work of Variety Club, they help disadvantaged children not only in the U.K, but all over the world through Variety International, who are based in New York. I also had the privilege of presenting ten Sunshine Coaches for handicapped children in Ireland, where I appeared in a Miss World charity fashion show.

A project close to my heart is in my hometown Hydrabad, in India, a cause where poor children are taken off the streets by the police and are given education, health care and vocational training.

Most of my work was charity-orientated and this I will continue to do in the future after my reign has ended. Winning the Miss World title is an amazing experience. What kept my feet on the ground was exercising the Miss World theme “Beauty with a Purpose” through my involvement with people less fortunate than myself. Seeing that just your presence, or a smile or a touch could give so much joy is a humbling experience. In the course of one year, I have learnt more than I would ever have learnt in a lifetime and if I could turn back the clock I wouldn’t change a second. This summary of my year would be incomplete if I were not to mention a few important people who have stood by me and helped make my year so special. Eric and Julia Morley, your guidance, advice and friendship have been invaluable. Thank you for your support. To my family and friends, thank you for being there for me and encouraging me along the way. As my reign as Miss World comes to a close, I’d like to give the following advice to my successor: “Absorb it, enjoy it and cherish every moment of it. Not too many people have the priviledge of being Miss World...appreciate it”


This year the contestants first assembled in London. On Thursday 30th October they attended a fundraising lunch where the proceeds were equally divided between the Variety Club of Great Britain to help disadvantaged children, and the Outward Bound Trust to enable disadvantaged youngsters to attend courses which help them find out that they have potential far beyond what they had previously believed. There are Outward Bound centres all over the world and thousands of youngsters have received benefits in this way.

The Variety Club of Great Britain is part of Variety Clubs International which through its Lifeline Programme has given medical aid to thousands of children worldwide. This has been mostly for major surgery in hospitals in the USA, UK, Israel and Australia. In one operation, 200 youngsters were operated on in Sri Lanka for cleft lip and palate. This was done two years in succession. All together over $150 million has been raised and distributed.

In the year 2000, Miss World will celebrate its 50th birthday. Its target for that year is to get 50 of the competing countries to each raise enough money to buy a Sunshine Coach, one for each year since Miss World began. Sunshine Coaches are so-called because they are presented to homes where there are a lot of deprived youngsters who are taken on outings to the seaside and other locations bringing a ray of sunshine into their lives. Each coach has a lifespan of seven years during which it brings joy and hope to thousands of deprived youngsters. Some of the coaches have forklifts to enable wheelchairs to be taken on board. Any generous person who wishes to purchase such a coach will have their name printed on the side giving many years of remembrance of their wonderful gift.

They can do this now or offer to sponsor one of the 50 pledged by Miss World, who also presented 25 in 1975 on the occasion of the Silver Anniversary.

Special Features

Each week, BWP will present a new in-depth report on one of the many charity projects worldwide that has benefitted from the work of Julia Morley and the support of Beauty with a Purpose. Keep watching this space for more details on these special features.



Julia Morley



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