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Beauty with a Purpose

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Priyanka Chopra - Miss World 2000

Farewell from - Miss World 2000

by Priyanka Chopra

To the World:

It’s hard to express in words how wonderful my 365 days of glory, fame and responsibility as Miss World 2000 have been. It all started in the first week in November 2000, with my arrival in London for the Miss World Contest. The awesome responsibility of this huge event was like a cold shower – I suddenly knew 100% that this was what I wanted to do. As I met all the contestants and spent an entire month with them, I learnt how diverse the world is. And it was amazing to see so many different people unify for one purpose. It was like travelling around the globe without actually going anywhere. But I felt mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually prepared to meet everyone’s expectations.

The beauty and glory of the crown as it sat on my brow inspired me to help as many people as I could during my reign. But nothing preoccupied me so much as disadvantaged children – a cause that’s always been close to my heart – and I was proud to use my position to help in any way I could. In fact, I was never happier than during my work helping children as an honorary ambassador of the Thallasaemia Society. I am also an honorary Ambassador of the Society for Education and Betterment of the Girl Child, in India. I was particularly moved by the sight of young girls working or bringing up children rather than getting their education. I was determined to help people understand that a woman can offer much more to society than babies and recipes. A woman has within her the power to create, nurture and transform. If she is sufficiently ambitious, determined and gifted then she can achieve anything!
I visited schools, hospitals, families and orphanages, trying to show people through my own example what women can achieve. If I can do it – anyone can! Above all, I am proud that I could contribute in my own small way to many different causes.

In a world that is torn apart by hunger, terror and distress, I truly believe that the voice of our soul is the only guiding light to a better tomorrow. Mother Teresa herself chose to lead by example and gave everyone hope – particularly in my country. This most revered saint blessed the people of this world by treading paths that were not left in the dark. I am a regular visitor to her “Prem Niwas” in my hometown, where my brother and I have celebrated festivals and Christmas with the residents, ever since we were children.

That sanity I stand for. That tolerance I stand for. And that love I stand for.

Miss World has reinforced my belief in giving back to society. Sharing some of the goodness and privilege that that I have been blessed with. In essence, I speak for peace, love, tolerance and sanity. I feel strongly that we should love our fellow man, and respect the flora and fauna of this world. Only then can we keep our planet healthy and happy.
I have travelled the world on the shoulders of a giant – the Miss World organisation. During my amazing year I have met incredibly glamourous, privileged people as well as witnessing the hopelessness and despair of the disadvantaged. And the contrast is sobering. But hopefully through our efforts to alleviate suffering we have been able to bring some hope to those less fortunate than ourselves. It makes me wonder – can we ever strike a balance? A penny for your thoughts … I feel like I’ve gained a lifetime’s experience in one short year. And I am proud to be a part of the Miss World family, continually striving to be a beauty with a purpose! As I relinquish my crown and my reign, I pledge my continuing support and goodwill to this organisation and everything it stands for. I am there with you in spirit. My love, my support and my sense of duty will always be there. Thank you to everyone for the great learning experience Miss World 2000 has been. It has made an invaluable contribution to every aspect of my life. But above all, this year has confirmed one belief: that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world … Thanking you, I remain, yours sincerely. 

Priyanka Chopra


Beneath the glamourous image one of the world’s best known pageants there is a serious purpose and a key objective. PAUL HUNWICK talked to the Miss World Chief Executive JULIA MORLEY, about the mission behind the image.

Sitting in her modest office in Soho’s Golden Square – the headquarters of the Miss World Organisation – Julia Morley, dressed immaculately in a black trouser suit, is looking remarkably calm. She doesn’t look like a woman who, by the time you’re reading this, will have co-ordinated around a hundred contestants, teams of linguists and completed the scores of other tasks that have gone into putting on this very special 50th Miss World. Just how nerve-wracking is it?

‘Oh, things in the run up to the event rarely happen exactly how one plans but it will work out in the end. As it does every year,’ enthuses Julia with the confidence of a woman who has pulled off the same mammoth task time after time.

ENLIGHTENED MISS WORLD    But it isn’t the glamour aspect that concerns Julia on this particular day. She’s more excited about learning, this morning, that ‘little Sam’ is going home after her successful operation at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Four-year old Samanja Timilsina arrived in the UK some months ago with her father in the hope that surgeons at Great Ormond Street would be able to correct her deformed jaw. Her deformity was so severe it made eating almost impossible. This is just one example of an operation made possible – in part at least – by the efforts of Julia and her team of tireless Miss World helpers. Hence, the enlightened Miss World tag: ‘Beauty with a Purpose’.

HELPING TO SAVE LIVES    Many people still don’t realise that behind the glamour of Miss World is a team of people constantly raising funds for worthy causes such as ‘Little Sam’s’. After spending just ten minutes in Julia Morley’s company you realise the glamour factor is in fact just a small part of her job and an even smaller part of her motivation. ‘We know it’s a show with razzmatazz and glamour and we want to keep it that way but there’s a depth behind it. You have to have fun with fundraising so, beneath it all, what we are doing is helping to save lives,’ explains Julia with a warm determination.

‘Whether it’s 1,000 children being educated in India, getting kids on the surface instead of down a coal mine or surgery such as Sam’s. It all matters. We don’t scream and shout about it but we are quietly very proud of the fact that many children’s lives have been saved thanks to the efforts of the Miss World Organisation and its supporters,’ confides Morley with modesty. Julia is also the International Vice President of the Variety Club International.

‘So far we have raised over £100 million for children. We created the first children’s ward at Kings College Hospital. It has liver transplanting and grafting facilities and treats children from all over the world.’

REMEMBERING EL SALVADOR    ‘I remember one year in El Salvador after an earthquake,’ says Julia, ‘A makeshift children’s hospital had been placed in an unfortunate position at the base of a valley where the heat was over 42 degrees. Babies were laying five abreast in the cots. I knew I had no one on hand to help so I called several former Miss Worlds – and we put together a fashion show. The girls turned up at the hospital in jeans, all ready to work. One particular Miss World had just received her first commission as an architect to build a six storey building in her home-land when I called, but she still came to offer her help despite that,’ explains Julia, revealing the determination and compassion of the girls. ‘Before the show the children gave a service of thanks in the local church. The church itself was falling down but the sisters had promised God was on our side and not to worry. We agreed we wouldn’t weep at the service but one former Miss World simply couldn’t hold back the tears. The children rushed to comfort her and they said to me in Spanish ‘I expect she’s lost her mummy and daddy, too.’’

ON A MISSION    ‘We went on to raise enough funds to build six pre-fabricated rooms to serve as a hospital.’ Julia explains. ‘You can’t buy the feeling that kind of achievement gives you. There is a depth in this kind of work that is immeasurable. It wasn’t perhaps the slickest show in the world, that fashion show, but it is one example of what people can achieve if they work together.’

‘I’ve always been interested in people’s minds and communication as much as the fun aspects of life. If someone says something is impossible, that excites me. I think ‘let’s make it possible’. The key is communication. Nothing is impossible.’

To Julia Morley it is the challenge that leads to achievement, and it is her and her team’s achievements that help so many who need help.

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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