Ms. Sri Lanka was left with “head injuries” after the current Ms. World attempted to tear the crown from her head.
Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva, 31, received this year’s title on Sunday at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theater in Colombo.
Before she could leave the stage, 2019 winner Caroline Jurie, 28, who is also Ms. World, threw a wrench into the works.
“As for the woman world, there is a rule that you have to be married and not divorced,” Ms. Juries said as the dramatic music swelled.
“So I’m taking steps to move the crown to second place.”
Ms. Jurie then went to Ms. De Silva and spent half a minute removing hairpins before lifting the crown off her head.
The tearful winner then rushed off the stage while the glittering headpiece was placed on the equally emotional runner-up.
Ms. De Silva claims she went to the hospital for head injuries after the show.
After the intervention on stage, Ms. Sir Lanka’s organizers returned the crown to her.
The rightful winner accused Ms. Jurie of not being a “true queen” in a Facebook post insisting on not being divorced.
She wrote: “I am still an undivorced woman. A true queen is not a woman who snaps another woman’s crown, but a woman who secretly sets another woman’s crown!”
Ms. De Silva also said at a press conference: “There are many single mothers like me who are suffering in Sri Lanka today.
“This crown is dedicated to women, single mothers who suffer to raise their children alone.”
Chandimal Jayasinghe, the national director of Ms. Sri Lanka World, said the BBC: “We are disappointed.
“It was a shame the way Caroline Jurie behaved on stage and the Mrs World organization has already started an investigation into the matter.”
The police questioned both Ms. Jurie and Mr. Jayasinghe about the incident.