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The New Miss World: A 22-Year-Old Nursery School Teacher from Iceland

November 15, 1985

LONDON (AP) _ Holmfriour Karlsdottir of Iceland began her reign as Miss World today, and the nursery school teacher said she hoped her pupils would miss her as she embarked on the world travels that come with the title.

Miss Karlsdottir, 22, performed flawlessly in answering questions during the Thursday night pageant held at Royal Albert Hall. Her smile never faded, and she said afterward she was never nervous.

During the swimsuit competition, the 5-foot-8 blonde wore a bathing suit cut far more modestly than the outfits worn by most of the other 77 competitors.

The first runner-up was Miss United Kingdom, Mandy Adele Shires, a 19-year- old model.

Miss U.S.A., Brenda Denton, of Hobbs, N.M., was second runner-up. Miss Denton, 22, is a computer programming student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Before departing for an early morning coronation ball, Miss Karlsdottir said, ″I just feel fantastic, and I never expected to win.″

She said she would have to put off any possible plans to marry her boyfriend, law student Elfar Runarsson. ″We are not engaged yet, but we have talked about getting married some day,″ she said.

″I will have to leave my nursery schoolchildren for a year as well, and I hope they’ll miss me.″

She said her first task was to telephone her parents because she did not know whether the pageant was being shown on television in Iceland. ″I know that they and my boyfriend will be very proud of me,″ she said.

Miss Karldottir’s father, Karl, is a civil engineer, and her mother, Asta, is a nurse.

The new Miss World won a cash prize of 5,000 pounds ($7,000) and a work contract worth the equivalent of $35,000.

She had been first runner-up in the Miss Iceland pageant, with the winner there going to compete for the Miss Universe title.

″I must be so lucky to have come second and yet still win Miss World,″ she said.

During the pageant, British breakfast television host Anne Diamond interviewed Miss Karlsdottir, who said she began learning English at age 16.

″I love my job very much. I finished school a year ago,″ Miss Karlsdottir said.

Miss Diamond then said, ″Well, we had a nursery school teacher who did quite well for herself.″ She was referring to Britain’s Princess Diana, who was a nursery school teacher’s aide before marrying Prince Charles.

When asked how she felt about coming in third, Miss U.S.A said, ″Out of this group of ladies, I feel that I am very fortunate. I can only be very pleased with my performance.″ Miss Denton also won a prize worth $1,400.

Last year’s winner was Astrid Herrera, Miss Venezuela.

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