A 20-year-old Muslim student is set to become the first woman to wear a hijab in the final of the Miss England competition.
Sara Iftekhar, who studies law at the University of Huddersfield, won the titles of Miss Huddersfield and Miss Yorkshire Popularity 2018 to secure her place as a finalist in the national competition, beginning on Monday.
Ms Iftekhar, who set up her own clothing business at the age of 16, wrote on Instagram about her experience in the competition.
“Wow, I can’t even comprehend how amazing it felt for my name to be announced as a finalist in the Miss England Finals 2018, she told her Instagram followers.
“It was an incredible experience and something which I will never be able to forget. The opportunities which I have received with being a finalist in Miss England are opportunities which I would never have thought of, and will forever be grateful for.”
Ms Iftekhar has set up an online fundraising page to raise money for charity Beauty with a Purpose, an organisation which supports cleft palate teams in South America, Sri Lanka and Russia.
On the Go Fund Me page she said that she participated in the Miss 2018 competition “to show that beauty doesn’t have a definition, everyone is beautiful in their own ways, regardless of their weight, race, colour or shape.”
If she wins the Miss England title, Ms Iftekhar will go on to represent the nation alongside Miss Scotland, Miss Wales and Miss Northern Ireland to compete for the Miss World crown-which comes with a first prize of $100,000 (Dh367,000)- in Sanya, China.