On the occasion of the centenary of the Miss France competition, which will take place on Saturday, December 19 on TF1, return to the first Miss France elected in 1920: Agnès Souret.
Agnès Souret, first Miss France in 1920. Credit: town hall of Espelette.
The young Basque native of Espelette was only 17 years old when she sent a photo of her to the competition formerly called simply “The most beautiful woman in France”. On the back of this photo, Agnès Souret writes “ I am only 17 years old. Tell me if I have to cross France to take a chance “. The young Basque is selected and finally wins the competition of Maurice de Waleffe, journalist and creator of the event.
In 1920, Agnès Souret, 17, was elected first Miss France among the 2000 contenders, before a multitude of laureates to come.
A short career as an actress
Agnès Souret. “Most beautiful woman in France” screenshot.
Agnès Souret, who dreams of becoming an actress, is propelled onto the front of the stage. She left her small hometown of Espelette to continue her adventure in the capital. Subsequently, the winner is chosen to shoot in Le Lys du Mont Saint-Michel (at Mont Saint-Michel therefore) her first film.
” She was kindly pitying, poor dove thrown among the greedy vultures, says Hervé Lauwick in Le Figaro. The director had in his hands a marvel of photogeny. He didn’t know how to get it “.
Unfortunately for Agnès Souret, her acting career does not work and she decides to turn to dance. This is how she left in 1928 for a two-month tour of Argentina.
A tragic fate
Agnès Souret. Credit: L’Emeraude.
There, Agnès Souret suffered a violent peritonitis and died on August 14, 1928 at the age of 28, in Buenos Aires. His death left his family in deep sadness. Her mother Marguerite will not hesitate to sell her modest house and her land in Espelette to repatriate her daughter’s body.
A monument will be erected at the foot of the town’s church, before being renovated some time ago in an art deco style which earned it a listed historic monument. On the grave, Marguerite Souret wrote these pretty words: ” To my sweet and pretty daughter. She was a little rose without thorns. She was not born for Paris. She went straight back to Paradise “.
100 years of Miss France
Saturday is therefore the centenary of the competition, which became the “Miss France Committee” in 1954 and created by Guy Lévy, which will be celebrated on TF1. Broadcast on television since 1987, the Miss France contest is also the oldest beauty contest in the world still in operation.
Chaired since 1981 by Geneviève De Fontenay, the Miss France competition suffered a setback following the departure of the latter in 2010. She will be replaced by Sylvie Tellier.
This weekend, to mark the hundred years of the competition, the jury will be entirely made up of former Miss France:
Muguette Fabris (Miss France 1963)
Patricia Barzyk (Miss France 1980)
Nathalie Marquay (Miss France 1987)
Mareva Georges (Miss France 1991)
Linda Hardy (Miss France 1992)
Sonia Rolland (Miss France 2000)
Elodie Gossuin (Miss France and Miss Europe 2001)
Flora Coquerel (Miss France 2014)
Iris Mittenaere (Miss France and Miss Universe 2016)