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Mrs. Ireland named new Mrs. World

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Kate Schneider from Ireland has been named the new Mrs. World after the reigning titleholder resigned following an on-stage fracas in which she pulled the crown off the head of the winner of the Mrs. Sri Lanka beauty pageant, organizers said.

Mrs. World Inc. said it has received the resignation of Caroline Jurie and that the first runner-up, Mrs. Ireland Kate Schneider, therefore will be the new Mrs. World 2020.

The website of Mrs. World, a beauty pageant for married women, published a photo of Schneider with the title Mrs. World.

Jurie relinquished her title earlier this month, while defending her decision to remove the crown from the head of this year’s Mrs. Sri Lanka title holder, Pushpika De Silva, who she claimed was unqualified to take part in the April 4 contest because she was divorced.

De Silva said she is separated, but not divorced, from her husband.

“Being apart is one. Divorce is something else,” she said on Facebook.

Jurie, who is also Sri Lankan, was accused of injuring De Silva in the televised pageant. Four days later, she was arrested on charges of “simple hurt and criminal force” and later released on bail.

Jurie said she was standing against “injustice” and that the pageant was “tainted.” She said she wanted to ensure that every contestant had an equal opportunity.

Mrs. World Inc. said in a statement Tuesday that Jurie’s “voluntary resignation decision was made solely by Caroline herself.”

The incident at the pageant, which was attended by the prime minister’s wife, created an uproar in Sri Lanka, which will host the final Mrs. World event this year.

Queen Elizabeth expresses thanks

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her thanks for all the “support and kindness” shown following the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

In a statement today posted on social media on her 95th birthday and which she personally signed off as Elizabeth R, the monarch said it has been “a comfort” to “see and to hear all the tributes to my husband” from within the U.K., the Commonwealth and around the world.

“My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days,” she said in her first remarks since Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

“We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life,” she added.

The queen said she had received “many messages of good wishes” for her 95th birthday, which she “very much” appreciated.

She is marking her birthday in a low-key fashion at Windsor Castle. Some members of the royal family are expected to be with her on Wednesday. Her birthday falls within the two-week royal mourning period for Philip that is being observed until Friday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of many people who sent best wishes to the monarch.

“I have always had the highest admiration for Her Majesty and her service to this country and the Commonwealth,” Johnson said on Twitter. “I am proud to serve as her prime minister.”

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9 at age 99. Family and friends gathered for his funeral at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday to say their final farewells.

His death came a few months before his 100th birthday, which was due to be the focus of royal celebrations this year, while the queen’s 95th was always set to be a more low-key event.

By Patricia Older