Miss England pageant crowns its first virtual finalist, 19, in a ceremony held via videolink in her back garden
- Tia Carter was handed her ‘Miss Leicestershire’ sash at home last weekend
- The mechanic turned beauty queen was presented the award by sister Sapphire
- 15 other Miss England events will also be carried out via video due to coronavirus
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
The Miss England pageant has crowned its first virtual finalist in a ceremony held via videolink to her back garden.
Tia Carter was handed her ‘Miss Leicestershire’ sash and tiara at her home in Leicester last weekend.
The 19-year-old mechanic turned beauty queen was presented her award by sister Sapphire, 23, who was Miss Leicestershire 2017.
Tia Carter, 19, (pictured) was handed her ‘Miss Leicestershire’ sash and tiara at her home in Leicester last weekend
The contest was originally due to go ahead as a live show in front of a large audience.
But pageant bosses announced last month that the heat – along with 15 other Miss England events around the country – would be carried out via videolink instead due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Tia won her place in the final by submitting a catwalk video of her strutting down the drive at the side of house.
She also performed a dance routine in her garden for the talent round and raised £220 for charity.
The 19-year-old mechanic turned beauty queen (left) was presented her award by sister Sapphire, 23, (right) who was Miss Leicestershire 2017
The teenager, who is training to be a mechanical engineer, said: ‘I’m over the moon to have won.
‘I’ve always looked up to my big sister Sapphire and to win my home county title is fantastic!
‘It’s a shame the event was cancelled but I’m grateful for the opportunity, as there were some great girls in the contest.’
Tia and Sapphire have previously competed directly against each other in pageants but the sisters insist a little bit of sibling rivalry is healthy.
Sapphire discovered the glitz and glamour of pageants aged nine which later inspired younger sister Tia to join the pageant community in 2018.
The pair lost their father Steve Hanley to a blood clot in 2006 when he was just 31.
They said that their 54-year-old mother Thelma, a university library building assistant, has been their biggest inspiration.
Tia and Sapphire have previously competed directly against each other in pageants but the sisters insist a little bit of sibling rivalry is healthy. Sapphire discovered the glitz and glamour of pageants aged nine which later inspired younger sister Tia to join the pageant community in 2018
The Miss England final was due to take place in Birmingham in July but this has now been postponed until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is thought that this too will be held via videolink for the first time in the pageant’s history.
This would involve all 50 finalists performing their special talents, completing fashion catwalk and eco rounds and being interviewed by the judges from the comfort of their own homes.
Miss England director Angie Beasley said: ‘The final of Miss England is currently on hold due to the coronavirus situation and has been postponed until further notice.
‘We didn’t want to let the girls or the charities they have already started fundraising for down.
‘So we decided to run the contest virtually – contestants have submitted videos of themselves catwalking, introducing themselves and showing off their talent.
‘I’m still not sure if the final will be staged as an event at all this year, but the first virtual contest has been fairly successful – and it has given the girls the excuse to get dressed up while they stay at home!’
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