Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel Crowned Miss Universe
Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel is crowned at the Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans on January 14, 2023.
R’Bonney Gabriel from the United States was crowned the 71st Miss Universe on Saturday night.
Gabriel, who last year became the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, took the crown ahead of Amanda Dudamel from Venezuela and Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic.
The pageant was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, with 84 women from around the world competing for the crown. Saturday night was the last day of the competition, with eliminations narrowing down the number of finalists until the last two remained.
When Gabriel entered the Top 5, she was asked, “Miss Universe recently made an inclusive change allowing mothers and married women to compete this year. What’s another change you’d like to see and why?”
Gabriel responded that she hoped the contest organizers would increase the candidate age limit.
“For me, I would like to see an age increase because I am 28 years old. And that is the oldest age to compete. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is ‘if not now, then when?’ Because as a woman, I believe age does not define us. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday — but it’s now. The time is now,” she said.
Houston-native Gabriel is a model, fashion designer, and sewing instructor who prioritizes the environment in her work.