VIDEO: Plymouth's Charlotte Holmes is crowned Miss England after beating rivals from across the UK
YESTERDAY, Plymouth. Today, England. Tomorrow, the World?
The rise and rise of former Face of Plymouth winner Charlotte Holmes has now seen the 23-year-old crowned Miss England after she beat 59 other competitors at a glitzy final.
Wearing a stunning blue gown Charlotte – Miss Devon – gulped down tears as she was presented with her crown and trophy.
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Speaking to The Herald, Charlotte, from Torpoint, said the win and its implications had not yet sunk in. "I've haven't quite come back to earth yet. I'm completely overwhelmed. I cried my eyes out because I wasn't expecting it."
Accompanied by her parents and sister Charlotte said this was going to be her third – and last – shot at the title.
She said: "It was my last chance so it was a big thing to win it. I'm a pretty determined person and I don't get phased by defeat. You've just got to get back up and try again."
Her 'can-do' manner has won her fans across the globe include supermodel Elle Macpherson who hosted Britain's Next Top Model in 2010, where Charlotte gained fourth place. Elle broke down as Charlotte was forced to leave, saying on the programme: 'When she didn't make it through to the final three, it felt like a part of me was rejected.'
Charlotte said Elle had been a "big supporter", who had given her many words of encouragement, urging her to never give up.
"My parents had always taught me to keep trying. If at first you don't succeed...!"
Charlotte still recalls her first test photos for the Face of Plymouth in Drake Circus with Herald photographer John Allen, who went on to take her first portfolio at the Herald's photographic office.
Charlotte said: "I've been lucky enough to have met lots and lots of people who have been really positive. People like John and Elle have been really inspirational."
Today, Charlotte will be off to star in the Mauritius Carnival, a journey of great personal significance.
Charlotte said: "My gran, who's 92, is Mauritian and my dad's half half-Mauritian. There's a lot of family history for me there. It will be amazing to go and see her roots."
Later this summer Charlotte head off for the Miss World competition in China with the final in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, in August.
Be at the Face of Plymouth 2012 final on July 21 – all the details on page 15.
Comment – Page 11