Aishwarya Rai honoured at Miss World; Abhishek, Aaradhya by her side - Emirates24|7

Aishwarya Rai honoured at Miss World; Abhishek, Aaradhya by her side

Former Miss World Aishwarya Rai, right speaks on stage with husband Abhishek Bachchan and daughter Aaradha, during the Miss World 2014 final, on stage at the Excel centre in east London, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. (AP)

Miss South Africa, 22-year-old Rolene Strauss, was crowned Miss World 2014 at the contest's glitzy final in London on Sunday, with an estimated billion viewers watching on television around the globe.

Sunday's show started with a spectacular choreographed dance routine, with all the beauty queens on stage in costumes inspired by their homelands.

AP

While beauty remains central to the event, the women taking part are chiefly judged on their talents and involvement in good causes.

The event also featured a special 20-year award for 1994's Miss World, Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

The 41-year-old Indian actress appeared on stage with her film star husband Abhishek Bachchan, their daughter Aaradhya and her mother Vrunda Rai.

The prize was for the 'Dhoom 2' star's charitable work with children with cleft palates since being made famous by Miss World.

AP

She spoke of her husband as her soulmate and her daughter as her angel. Bachchan said in her acceptance speech, "I stand here overwhelmed by this honour. I thank Miss World Organization for such an incredible honour that I have received.

"To have the opportunity to hold the title, to wear the crown with pride... that was my one time to go out there and experience beauty with a purpose..." she said.

AP

Aishwarya was a very special guest at the 64th edition of Miss World Finale 2014. She received this award for her outstanding contribution in Beauty with Purpose.

The 10 contestants who topped the final scoreboard were, in descending order, from India, South Africa, England, Guyana, Brazil, Hungary, Kenya, United States, Mexico and Australia.

They were joined by Miss Thailand, who won the people's choice award, voted for by people around the world through a mobile phone app.

The judges chose Miss Hungary, Miss Australia, Miss South Africa, Miss United States and Miss England as their top five before picking their top three.

Miss World began in 1951, a year before its chief rival Miss Universe.

Strauss is the third South African Miss World, the country having held the title in 1958 and 1974.

Venezuela tops the all-time leader board with six titles, ahead of India and the United Kingdom on five titles each.

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