Rolene Strauss of South Africa was crowned Miss World 2014 on Sunday (early Monday morning Manila time), succeeding the Philippines' Megan Young for the title at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London.
The 22-year-old beauty won hearts with her background as a medical student in her native country.
"South Africa this is for you," Strauss said afterwards.
"I think I will brace myself for what's about to happen. It's a huge responsibility."
"I hope Miss South Africa enjoys her year as much as I did," said Young, meanwhile. Young became the first bet from the Philippines to win the Miss World tiara last year.
Edina Kulcsar of Hungary was runner-up, while the United States' Elizabeth Safrit was third.
But the night was as much about Young as the new winner, with the reigning beauty queen serving as host of the event. "It's not just a legacy for myself, but a legacy for Filipinos," she said in a video package prior to the announcement of the winner.
She also had a piece of advice for the new Miss World: "Be ready for challenges, be ready for anything that comes your way."
Philippines bet Valerie Weigmann failed to make it to the semifinals of the competition, ending her dream of winning back-to-back crowns for the country.
The former Eat Bulaga co-host had made it to the top 25 of the competition, but was left out of the top 10.
Weigmann had a chance to become the 11th semifinalist by winning the People's Choice Award, which is based on fan voting. But it was Miss Thailand who ended up winning the award and catching the last bus to the semifinals.
10.30: Miss World 2014 is Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss
10.30 pm: Miss Hungary Edina Kulcsar named runner-up, while Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit came third in the contest.
10.20: Top six contestants paid tribute to Miss World Chairman Julia Morley
10.00 pm: Top five semi-finalists are announced and they are from (in no order) Hungary, Australia, United States, South Africa and England.
9.50 pm: Miss Thailand won the People's Choice Award
9.50: Top 10 semi-finalists announced and they are (in order) Australia (10), Mexico (9), United States (8), Kenya (7), Hungary (6), Brazil (5), Guyana (4), England (3), South Africa (2) and India (1).
9.40 pm: Miss World honours Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The 41-year-old Bollywood actress attended the grand finale along with husband Abhishek Bachchan, daughter Aaradhya and mother Vrinda Rai
9.30 pm: The Vamps perform live
9.30: 25 quarter-finalists are announced and they are from Bolivia, People's Republic of China, Brazil, Dominican Republic, England, Mexico, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Sudan, Vietnam, Finland, Ghana, Kenya, Netherland, Philippines, Sweden, South Africa, United States, Australia, Russia, Scotland and Trinidad & Tobago
9.15 pm: For the first time, five contestants were announced as the winner of "Beauty With a Purpose" competition. The five contestants are from India, Kenya, Brazil, Indonesia and Guyana.
9.10 pm: Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit is the winner of the Multimedia round, Miss Bosnia & Herzegovina Isidora Borovčanin is Top Model Winner, Miss Sweden Olivia Asplund is Beach Fashion competition winner and Miss Malaysia Dewi Liana Seriestha is Talent competition winner.
9.05 pm: Miss Scotland and Miss Malaysia perform live in front of audience, judges and viewers for Talent competition.
9.00 pm: First leaderboard scores revealed and Miss France is leading the scoreboard list.
8.50 pm: All contestants introduced to the audience
8.40 pm: Contestants presented their National Costumes
8.20 pm: Grammy award-nominated and multi-platinum artist Sky Blu from LMFAO performs live at the opening ceremony.