Miss Universe 2017
Newly-crowned Miss Universe 2017 Iris Mittenaere from France Reuters

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere has sparked rumours that is a lesbian. The speculation started after fans found pictures of the brunette beauty with Miss France 2014 Camille Cerf.

Cerf posted an image with the 24-year-old French beauty, and their hair braided together. In the photo, Mittenaere held the 22-year-old from behind. She captioned the image: "Because some stories seem obvious."

Many images shared by Mittenaere and Cerf showed their close bond with each other.

Meanwhile, Mittenaere became Miss Universe 2016 after beating 85 contestants. Pia Wurtzbach, the winner of Miss Universe 2015, crowned Mittenaere in a glittering ceremony held in Philippines on 30 January 2017. This is the second time a contestant from France has won the Miss Universe title in the history of the beauty pageant. In 1953, Christiane Martel became the first contestant from France to win the crown.

For the final Miss Universe 2016 Q&A, the top three contestants were asked: "Name something over the course of your life that you failed at, and tell us what you learned from that experience."

Mittenaere said: "I've failed several times in my life, so I thought that I failed the first time that I went out on a casting, because my name wasn't on the list. The very next day, I found that I was in a new book. So I think that when you fail, you have to be elevated, you have to try again, and keep going. If tonight, I'm not one of the winners, I will still have the great honor of being one of the 3 finalists, so I think that I have failed before, but I think this is a great first opportunity."