A new queen has been crowned.
Newly-minted Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel passed her tiara to Miss North Carolina, Morgan Romano, the new Miss USA, over the weekend.
Gabriel, 28, crowned Romano at Auburn University during the preliminary contest of Miss Alabama Teen USA and Miss Alabama USA on Saturday.
Romano wrote on Instagram Saturday following her win: “Heart full of gratitude. I’m all yours, USA.”
Romano was the first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant in October when Gabriel, who hails from Texas, won the competition.
Since Gabriel won Miss Universe on Jan. 14, she’s now passing her national title.
Some alleged that the Miss USA organization fixed the competition or heavily influenced the contest to favor Gabriel, which caused several contestants to leave the stage refusing to congratulate her.
Cheating claims escalated when Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro said that the crown was “stolen” from first runner-up Amanda Dudamel.
The company that owns the worldwide pageant, JKN Global Group, is also in charge of Miss USA.
Both pageants have denied all claims of rigging.
Miss Universe Organization chief executive Amy Emmerich had Gabriel’s back in a statement to the Los Angeles Times released on Jan. 18.
Emmerich defended the fashion designer, saying that she was “a strong and dedicated contestant” and “the rightful Miss Universe.”
Gabriel called the rigging allegations “hurtful” and “disheartening,” telling Fox News earlier this month: “I have put my heart and soul into [it]. And I hope people can see that.”
“However, in this competition, I know there [are] always rumors that can start. Sometimes I’m like, ‘It’s another day, another rumor,’ and you have to take it with a grain of salt. I’ve been through this before because I won Miss USA. That was in the public eye and there [were] rigging allegations proven false as well,” she continued.
“I really learned to just kind of focus my energy inward,” she added. “And I realized that at the end of the day, I have to be grateful for this opportunity. And I feel like the more successful you are, the more the world sees you.”
Gabriel said she will instead use it as an opportunity to show her strength.
“There will always be people that try to bring you down,” she said. “But being in the public eye, I think this is a great opportunity to show resiliency and to just keep moving forward… I’m focused on my end goal. I’m focused on being successful and being positive in a world of negativity.”