Mireia Lalaguna Royo has been crowned Miss World 2015.

The 23-year-old model and pharmacology graduate from Barcelona beat off competition from from Russia's Sofia Nikitchuk (who came in second) and Indonesia's Maria Harfanti (third) to take the title.

The event was steeped in controversy this year, as host country China refused to allow Canada's entrant, Chinese-born Anastasia Lin, to attend the pageant after her visa was blocked by Chinese authorities.

According to reports, Lin is an open critic of Chinese religious policy and a follower of the outlawed Falun Gong meditation practice.

She said that after she won the Canadian title, Chinese security agents visited her father - who still lives in China - in a bid to intimidate her into silence.

However, upon accepting her glittering crown, the new Miss World - who plans to take up a master's degree in nutrition - said:

I think this is a good decision, because Miss World is not looking for our body, they are looking for a soul.

I think it's important that they don't want to see only our bodies, they are looking for moral things.

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