SHE is one step closer to being crowned the most beautiful woman in England.
Miss Southampton Larissa Hirst is celebrating after progressing from the semi-finals of the 2014 Miss England competition.
A runner-up in the Miss Hampshire event, Larissa will join county winner Charlotte Giles in the grand final in June.
She competed against 79 other challengers in the semis and did enough for the judges to select her among the ten to go through to the showpiece event in Torquay.
Larissa, 23, faced physical challenges including a bleep fitness test and wowed the judges with a nautical-themed costume to show her hometown pride.
She said: “I am certainly not what people may think a typical ‘beauty queen’ is like, but maybe that is my strength; I don’t think I look or act like anyone else and maybe my individuality played a part in getting me through to the grand finals.”
It is Larissa’s last chance to win the title as next year she will be too old to enter the competition.
She added: “I didn’t expect to make the top ten in the semi-final, so just to be at the final is an honour. It’s my last year of competing, and I will give it my all for Southampton so we will see how the final goes.”
But she will not be joined by Miss Isle of Wight Georgina De Castro, who narrowly missed out on a place in the final.
Miss Hampshire coordinator Paula Langley said: “I am so pleased for both Larissa and Georgina who have really shone and did Hampshire proud.
“Not only will Larissa be able to continue the good work she has already started with her title but we now have Hampshire represented twice at the final – an amazing achievement that is richly deserved.”