Spotlight on History: Miss Egypt Antigone Costanda Wins Miss World 1954
BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer
On October 18, 1954, Antigone Costanda, a Greek-Egyptian, was crowned Miss World at the pageant’s fourth annual show in London. Winning the crown at the young age of 19, Costanda was one of only 16 contestants at the time. She won first place, while Miss USA won second and Miss Greece won third.
Miss World 1954 was the first time an Egyptian had won the pageant. In 1953, Miss Egypt Marina Papaelia was the runner-up. Miss Egypt was not present the year after Costanda’s win due to the conflict between Egypt and Britain over the Suez Canal. However, Miss Egypt has been a regular participant in Miss World and other international pageants ever since.
Today, Antigone Costanda is an Egyptian designer, former model, and commentator and judge on the pageant circuit. After winning Miss World in 1954, she became an international model, working in the Middle East and Europe. She later became an interior designer and ran a successful business out of Egypt.
Costanda is fluent in Arabic, Greek, Italian, French, and English. Her diverse background helped put her over the edge in the competition, in which she was the first woman to win the title for her Egypt.