Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe 2021 on March 3, 2000. She is an Indian model and beauty pageant winner. Sandhu is the third Indian woman to win Miss Universe, having previously won Miss Diva Universe 2021.
Sandhu was born to parents Pritampal Singh Sandhu and Rabinder Kaur Sandhu in the village of Kohali in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, close to the city of Batala. Her mother is a gynaecologist, while her father is a realtor. Harnoor, her older brother, is also a member of the family. Sandhu grew up in a Sikh family called the Jats.
The family relocated to England in 2006, only to return to India two years later and settle in Chandigarh, where Sandhu grew up. In Chandigarh, she went to Shivalik Public School and the Post Graduate Government College for Girls. Sandhu was working on a master’s degree in public administration before she was crowned Miss Universe. Aside from her mother tongue, Punjabi, Sandhu is fluent in Hindi and English.
Sandhu started competing in pageants while she was a teenager; gaining titles including Miss Chandigarh 2017 and Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018. Sandhu initially kept her participation in pageants a secret from her father, informing him only after she had won; despite this, he was supportive of her intention to pursue it.
Sandhu competed in Femina Miss India Punjab 2019 after winning; the title and finished in the Top 12 of the competition.
Sandhu was named one of the Top 50 semifinalists in the Miss Diva 2021 competition on August 16, 2021. She was later announced as one of the Top 20 finalists in the televised Miss Diva competition on August 23rd. Sandhu was a finalist for Miss Beach Body, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Talented during the preliminary competition on September 22nd.