A UK-based woman of Kenyan descent, Ms Rehema Muthamia, has been crowned Miss England.
Although born in England, the 25-year-old, whose family has roots in Kenya, spent part of her childhood living in the country.
Ms Muthamia, a graduate of the University of Sussex, was crowned on Friday at a ceremony in Coventry and will now represent England at the 70th Miss World in Puerto Rico later this year.
According to reports in the UK media, she currently lives with her grandmother.
She was handed the crown by former Miss England, Dr Bhasha Mukherjee, who held the title for two years after last year’s contest was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Ms Muthamia reached the final under the new category of Miss All African Colours which was created to increase representation of minority women in the competition.
She had raised hundreds of pounds for Women’s Aid while competing to become Miss All African Colours.
The new category was set up following last year's Black Lives Matter protests and celebrates racial diversity.
In her acceptance speech, she revealed that escaping an abusive relationship motivated her to enter the competition and will use her platform to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
“I would have to say that the most difficult experience that I’ve had in life is having gone through an abusive relationship and it’s not something that people speak about, especially in young women - I am only 25. But having gone through a relationship that was abusive it helped me learn more about myself,” she said.
According to the beauty queen, it was unfortunate that the abuse was made public in the press.
“But knowing that I was able to come through that experience, learn more about myself and my worth, who I am as a woman and be able to now use this platform in Miss England, to help other women that maybe have been in my position.”
According to The Times, Ms Muthamia was harassed by her former boyfriend, identified as Lorenzo Dixon, after they split up in 2019.
He reportedly followed her for nearly 160 kilometres on a train and bombarded her with calls, letters, texts, emails and gifts.
Despite a police warning in 2019, he reportedly continued until he was charged in July 2020 with stalking and harassment, which he admitted in court in February.
In April, Brighton magistrates gave him a 12-month community order, 30 hours of rehab, a restraining order and told him to pay her Sh75,000 (£500).
Describing her ordeal, Ms Muthamia at the time said: “Calls came in every few seconds. I’m scared I’ll always have to look over my shoulder.”
She spent part of her childhood in Kenya and speaks four languages. She said that her family is so supportive of her win that they couldn't stop talking about it, and that the Kenyan community in the UK had supported her.
She walked home with Sh300,000 (£2,000) in cash, a wardrobe of evening wear, a photo shoot, a personalised website, and luggage.