Queen For a Day, like a nunber of shows from the 50's, had its roots in radio before moving to television. NBC picked up the TV version in 1956, and aired it for 4 years before it moved to ABC for 4 more (1960-4), all of it with Jack Bailey as host.
There was really no contestant competition involved. The audience chose three or four women to vie for the title of Queen For a Day. These "nominees" would share their real-life tales of personal trials, and whomever earned the most applause from the audience was the winner.
Believe it or else, the series has been revived twice. The first was a short-lived syndicated version, hosted by Dick Curtis, which lasted 1 season (1969-70). The second aired on cable's Lifetime with actress-comedienne Mo'Nique (ex-The Parkers) as hostess. That didn't last, either. What killed the 1969 series, sad to say, was that the producers cheapened the concept by rigging the show. Big mistake.
Following is a 1963 circus-themed episode from the ABC era, which appears on the Mill Creek TV Guide's Greatest Game Shows DVD compilation:
Kimberly-Clark should've been a sponsor, because you can imagine some stories had viewers reaching for the Kleenex.