Miss Thailand Universe returns from global beauty pageant

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Bangkok – Miss Thailand Universe 2017, Maria Poonlertlarp, who made it into the top 5 at this year’s Miss Universe pageant has arrived back in Thailand, receiving a bouquet and a message of congratulations from Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana.

The beauty queen arrived back in Bangkok on Sunday night and was received by ML Songlak Sawasdiwat, representing HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, before meeting her waiting fans and family.

Upon arrival, Maria expressed her gratitude to all who cheered her on and voted for her during the competition. She said she was proud to have represented Thailand at the 2017 Miss Universe contest and that she had competed to benefit the image of the Kingdom.

While she didn’t take the crown at the 66th Miss Universe, Maria became a celebrity among the Thai people in her run up to the competition against beauties from 92 other countries. Her popularity saw celebrities and noted individuals in Thailand voicing their support for her, and her first video from the competition to be posted online received an astonishing 1 million views in only 14 hours, the fastest and highest view count among any of the contestants.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha has lauded Maria for her ability to draw focus towards Thailand.