Warwick student in Miss England final

Warwick student Clara Widdison is due to compete in the final of Miss England next week, 18 July.

The final-year Comparative American Studies student is due to graduate two days after the final of the pageant.

Widdison, who for the pagent goes by the name Clara Belle, only began entering beauty pageants this year, starting with Miss Coventry and Miss Rugby and winning Miss Durham in June. “It was a huge shock to progress to the finals of Miss England so quickly!” she explains.

The two day Miss England competition which takes place at in Birmingham features 60 other participants and several parts including ball gown, talent and interview rounds. Belle spoke of the run up to the final and her feelings: “I am incredibly excited, but obviously that is tinged with nerves… all the other girls are very beautiful and accomplished, so I definitely have my work cut out!”

Belle entered her first pageant earlier this year as fieldwork for an essay she was writing as part of her university studies. Then she was hit by “the pageant bug” as “it’s hard not to get addicted to the beautiful dresses and the excitement.”

She spoke of how she gets a lot out of entering the pageants, more than one might originally get from entering such competitions: “meeting people, travelling, more involvement with my community, a platform to fundraise more effectively for charity and it’s definitely something a little different for the CV!”

However, Belle doesn’t see a career as a model in the making, and after graduating hopes to work in the Foreign Office as a political diplomat, and one day to become ambassador for Britain.

“Miss England is brilliant experience for this career path because I am learning all the valuable lessons in public speaking and talking to people about everything and anything,” she explains.

The competition, which has this year seen over 80 heats and 10,000 applicants, will dish out some extravagant prizes. The winner of Miss England 2011 will receive: A month long all expenses paid trip and the opportunity to represent the nation in the 61st Miss World final with the chance to win $100,000 and the Miss World crown, a Miss England Crown, sash and a winner’s trophy.

If you would like to vote for Clara in Miss England, text 20Durham to 84205. Texts cost 60p, 10p of which will go to charity.


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