The new Miss England Lizzy Grant was still pinching herself today, more than 36 hours after her glittering coronation.
The 20-year-old from Preston told the Evening Post: “I’m still in shock - I just can’t believe it.”
Busy Lizzy spent her first day as Miss England doing press interviews and photo-shoots as she was thrust straight into a celebrity lifestyle at the start of her 12-month reign.
She faces a whirlwind schedule of personal appearances, modelling assignments and charity events. And her first move was to put her university education on hold, taking a year out from her psychology degree at Liverpool to focus on her title and preparing for the Miss World contest in Washington DC in December.
“It’s going to be busy, busy, busy,” said an excited Lizzy who scooped a first prize worth £25,000 at the Floral Hall in Southport on Thursday night.
“I’m taking a sabbatical from uni because this is likely to be very much a full-time job. I don’t think I could do this for the next 12 months and carry on with my studies. It was such a big shock when I won. To win Miss Preston was exciting - and then to get through the semi-finals of Miss England.
If I get shortlisted in the top 15 or 20 that would be incredible. But winning it? Wow, how good would that be?
“But then when I got into the top five on Thursday and then when my name was read out it was overwhleming, magical, incomprehensible. I felt like I’d won the lottery. I couldn’t hold back, my face went. It’s mad, insane.”
Lizzy is a novice on the beauty pageant circuit, only entering her first contest, Miss Preston, in April after being talent-spotted in the street when she was out shopping.
Three months on she is now Miss England and, before the end of the year, she could by Miss World.
“Going over to compete in Miss World will be amazing,” she said. “I’ve got four months to prepare for it and then I’m over in the States for a month for the competition.
“If I get shortlisted in the top 15 or 20 that would be incredible. But winning it? Wow, how good would that be?
“My family were there in Southport to support me, but I only got a couple of minutes with them afterwards. They’ve all been great and I can’t thank them enough for the support they have given me. “