A Doncaster beauty queen whose confidence was knocked by a nasty illness has been crowned Miss British Empire Sheffield.
Charlotte Lister overcame terrible chronic tension headaches to come out on top at the pageant in the Steel City last weekend.
The 26-year-old said: “When I found out I’d won I couldn’t stop crying. It was such an emotional day.
“Basically I’ve had a headache for 13 months and it hasn’t gone away.
“It really knocked my confidence quite a lot.
“I decided the best way to get over things is to push myself forward and try and challenge myself.
“It’s amazing - knowing I’m still quite ill but showing people that anybody suffering from anything like depression or anxiety can put themselves out there and do well.
“I go to the pain management unit in Mexborough and they have really helped.”
Charlotte, of Old Hall Road, Bentley, entered the pageant in Sheffield after success in the York final, where she won the title of Miss Congeniality and Best Dressed.
After four rounds - a sponsor round, swimwear, Hollywood glamour and formal - Charlotte ended up in the top six and had to answer questions in front of the audience.
“My hands were shaking - you could see the microphone shaking as I held it because I was so nervous.”
Charlotte, who was sponsored by Elite Bridal and Occasion Wear on Skellow Road, Carcroft, was eventually crowned the winner and has now won a place in the London final in December.
She said: “I want to carry on with charity events and get back involved in the community.
“I want to get out there and prove that pageants aren’t just about the swimwear shoots and bad press.
“Everyone seems to forget the good work that we do for charity. “Between the ten girls and four boys who took part in Sheffield we raised over £2,000 for the children’s hospital.
“I’m just really looking forward to London and making South Yorkshire proud.”
Earlier this year, Charlotte helped raise funds for the Bullies Out charity through a fashion show as part of beauty queen duties.
How beauty pageants have taken the world by storm
The first modern American pageant was staged by Phineas Taylor Barnum in 1854, but his beauty contest was closed down by public protest. Newspapers also held photo beauty contests for many decades and in 1880, the first Bathing Beauty Pageant took place in Delaware, USA.
However, pageants really came into their own in Britain in 1951 when Eric Morley created the Miss World contest.
Since his death in 2000, Morley’s wife, Julia Morley, co-chairs the pageant. Alongside its rivals Miss Universe and Miss Earth, the pageant is one of the most publicised beauty contests in the world.
The current Miss World is Megan Young of the Philippines.