Updated 17:12 PM PHT Tue, January 31, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — France's Iris Mittenaere is still in shock over the fact she is the new owner of the Miss Universe queen title.
Mittenaere, in her first press conference after being crowned on Monday, said she was surprised to emerge as the winner of the 65th Miss Universe pageant — besting crowd favorites Haiti's Raquel Pelissier and Colombia's Andrea Tovar.
"I am always touching the crown, and saying, 'Oh my God, I have the crown on my head.' I don't believe it. It was a big surprise. Every step was a surprise. I wanted to cry at every step. I am very proud and I feel blessed," she said.
The 23-year-old beauty queen said she has always dreamed of being a Miss Universe.
"Miss Universe was a dream. Every girl wants to be a Miss Universe," she said.
Mittenaere said the journey of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also influenced her and made her want to win.
"When I followed Pia, I saw all the things that she did and I want to do that. I want to help people. I want to understand and meet people. That's why this is a dream for me — to be Miss Universe," she said.
A dental surgery student, Mittnaere has always been vocal about her advocacy, which is the improvement of oral hygiene. But after being crowned as the new Miss Universe, she understands her reach is now wider.
"But now I represent the universe, and I want to do more than that. I really want to bring all the children to school. This is one of my charity. I think this is the most important: education for every child, especially for young women," she said.
Her goal as the new queen is simple: "I really want to be a good Miss Universe."
Mittenaere is bringing France its second Miss Universe crown after a 64-year title drought.