Hemel Hempstead girl April Banbury, 30 has made history after being crowned the first ever Ms Great Britain, after the contest introduced a new division for women aged 28 and over.
The bridal gown designer, who now lives in London, was named the winner and took home the crown on February 28, beating hundreds of other contestants at the glamorous event which took place in Leicester.
April had already participated in the Miss contest twice, in 2014 and 2016, finishing first runner-up in the finals.
She is delighted to have won this year, April said: “It felt amazing, it’s an incredible achievement. I cried; it was a bit of a shock.
“I wanted to really win but I didn’t expect it because I came second twice. I was 100 percent myself and if you can’t win when you are yourself then what can you do? I’m feeling so humbled right now.”
April is not the first in the family to represent the country. Her father Ian represented Great Britain in the 1976 Olympic Games and became the youngest athlete in the world to win a bronze medal for Cycling.
April believes she succeeded because she never gave up and thanks to the support she received while growing up with her dad and her nan.
She is very passionate about her work and wants to break stereotypes in the fashion industry.
She continued: “When I was at the London Fashion Week, I used diverse models to wear my brand.
“The main model had down’s syndrome. Many people get scared of what the media could say but I think anyone should be given the chance to be part of the fashion world and there should not be any kinds of stereotypes.
“Personally speaking, the reaction I got was all positive, it was overwhelming how everyone was supportive.”
Ms Great Britain was introduced this year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Miss Great Britain pageant, where you must be aged between 18 and 27 to participate.
From the hundreds of the applicants trying to get the crown, 30 got to the final.
Speaking about the other contestants, Ms Great Britain said: “We all had different backgrounds, the participants were so diverse, that’s what I love about the contest, it allows you to be yourself.”
April supported Cancer Research UK and Alex’s Wish charities by flying a plane upside down, having a pilot next to her. She did it despite being afraid of heights and described the experience as terrifying and amazing.
Now that she has won, April wants to focus on her brand and continue to portray her views through fashion.
Picture courtesy of Jin Rathod