The modern Miss Universe pageant started in 1952 in Miami Beach, Florida. The Netherlands didn’t participate in the first 4 pageants but started to participate in 1956. We will look back to all those beautiful dutch girls who had the honor to represent our country in the most covered beauty pageant in the world. We start with the 50’s….
Miss Holland 1956, Rita Schmidt
The first dutch girl that participated in the Miss Universe pageant was Miss Holland 1956 Rita Schmidt from Alkmaar. She was chosen as Miss Holland in february 1956 and first she went to the Miss Europe pageant where she was called the dutch Marilyn Monroe. She was the first dutch girl to place as a finalist in the history of the modern Miss Europe pageant and in the end she was 4th runner-up.
The Miss Universe pageant was held in july and Rita was well prepared.
Rita was very popular among the dutch people and press, as she was quite shy when she won the Miss Holland title, and because of that she was really blossoming during her reign.
Unfortunately Miss Schmidt did not make the cut to become a semi-finalist at the Miss Universe pageant.
In the year after she wasn’t allowed to crown Miss Holland 1957 as she got married before her reign as Miss Holland was over and so she was called a Mrs and no longer a Miss….
Miss Holland 1957, Corine Rottschaeffer
In may 1957 Corine Rottschaeffer was crowned as Miss Holland. Like her predecessor Rita, she would represent the Netherlands first at the Miss Europe 1957 pageant and afterwards at the Miss Universe 1957 pageant.
But Corine never arrived in Miami Beach in 1957. There was a nice reason though: In june of that year, Corine was crowned Miss Europe and her schedule became to busy to travel to the USA. Instead she was allowed to go in 1958. No other girl was ready to go in 1957, so there was no Miss Holland in the Miss Universe 1957 pageant. Funny detail: In both Miss Universe program books of 1957 and 1958 there are pictures of Corine as Miss Holland.
In 1958 Corine was an early favorite to win the Miss Universe pageant together with beautiful European girls from Germany, Italy, Denmark, Polen, Engeland, Greece and from the Americas: Brazil and Peru.
The dutch press was very happy when first Corine won the Miss Photogenic award and after that she was also called as one of the 15 semi-finalists. When she made the top 15, the international press believed that Miss Holland had the best odds to win the title together with Miss Denmark and Miss Brazil. But Corine was left out of the top 5 and Miss Colombia, who was never a big favorite won the pageant.
One year later Corine replaced Miss Holland 1959 at the Miss World pageant and like the Miss Europe pageant in 1957 she won….
Miss Holland 1959, Peggy Erwich
When Peggy Erwich was crowned Miss Holland 1959 she would represent the Netherlands at all international pageants. In 1958 she was already first runner-up at the Miss Holland pageant. The judges declared that her length was the decisive factor at he pageant. Like in the Miss Holland pageant she was also one of the tallest girls in the Miss Universe pageant.
Peggy didn’t make the cut. Miss Holland was a populair model in the Netherlands and other countries like Germany, therefore her schedule was too busy to go to any other pageant. She was replaced at the Miss Europe 1959 pageant by Petra Pouw, one of her runner-ups at the Miss Holland pageant. Petra placed as 5th runner-up at the Miss Europe pageant. For the Miss World pageant she was replaced by Miss Holland and Miss Europe 1957, Corine Rottschaeffer. Corine became the first dutch Miss World in history.
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