Banbridge girl Chantelle Coulter has been crowned as Miss Teen Queen Northern Ireland.
Chantelle, 12, from Seapatrick, said she was “crying with happiness” when she was announced the winner at the La Mon Hotel, Belfast, fighting off stiff competition from girls from all over Northern Ireland to win.
Chantelle, who is due to start Banbridge High School next week, is delighted to have represented Banbridge at the prestigious pageant and is still in shock that she won.
“I was so happy when I was announced the winner, I was crying with happiness and my mum was jumping up and down,” Chantelle commented.
“I like doing beauty pageants as I get to meet lots of girls from all over Northern Ireland.”
The pageant, which is run by Models and Pageants UK Ltd, focuses on inner beauty as well as natural beauty.
On their website, Models and Pageants UK Ltd say, “We are a pageant system built to help our competitors reach their goals and acchomplish their dreams.”
Through her win, Chantelle has won some fantastic prizes, including a holiday to Majorca and a year’s modelling contract with the company.
She will be holding various fundraising events for Autism N.I. throughout her reign as Teen Queen Northern Ireland 2015.
Chantelle explained: “With my title I will be raising lots of awareness about Autism as my wee brother Tyler and my dad have Autism.
“I am doing a sponsored walk in November for Autism N.I. with one of the girls that I have become friends with.”
Speaking about her win, Chantelle’s mum Lisa said: “I, as a mother, very much supported Chantelle’s decision to compete in beauty pageants.
“They are nothing like Toddlers and Tiaras. We want to try and change the misconceptions about beauty pageants here in Northern Ireland.
“This pageant was Chantelle’s fourth pageant and she has enjoyed every single one of them.
“I am so proud of her as she was the youngest in her category. I have enjoyed watching her confidence grow since she started competing two years ago.”
There were six rounds in total during the pageant, which took place on Sunday August 16, including the opening round, an introduction round, theme wear, where the local girl was a camouflage princess, an interview round, national cloth round and finally evening wear.
Chantelle, who also picked up an award for best in evening wear, would like to thank all the local support she received in the run up to the pageant.
Lisa added: “As her mum I am absolutely delighted for her!”