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September 1, 2014

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Rachel Christie: Introducing the First Black Miss England

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History was made last night in London.

Great Britain crowned 20-year-old Rachel Christie as Miss England during the country's annual pageant at London's Metropole Hilton Hotel

Competing as Miss London City, Christie edged out her rivals to claim the title and will now compete for the Miss World crown in Johannesburg in December.

But competition is nothing new for this London-born beauty.

Christie specializes in the heptathlon and the 400 meters and is hoping to join the ranks of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Her uncle is British Olympic gold medalist Linford Christie, who stands as the most decorated British athlete. He is also regarded as the second fastest European in history and even has a stadium in West London named in his honor.

"My ambition in life is to compete and win gold in the 2012 Olympics," Christie told reporters. "I would also love to do well in Miss England. I want to be successful in whatever I choose to do in life."

Katrina Hodge, a 21-year-old soldier decorated for her bravery in Iraq, came in second in the Miss England grand final, which was decided after a public vote.

According to the pageant's Web site, "the girls are talented, healthy and well-educated and are all vying for the privilege of representing England at the Miss World contest in South Africa later in the year."

"And before you ask...there are no size zeros in this bunch either! All the girls take an avid interest in sport and dance, so healthy eating plays a major part in their lives ... you won't find them pushing a side salad round the plate," pageant spokesperson Dee Carpenter said.

Though it boasted an entry list that "looks like a veritable roll call of stunning young women from all backgrounds and ethnicity, representing a truly multicultural England," detractors tried to mire the event.

Outside of the pageant, protesters held banners bearing signs that read "every woman is a queen" and "beauty is not skin deep." London's Daily Mail newspaper reported that last night's protest echoed similar demonstrations held last year when the Miss University London competition was branded "misogynist" by some student groups.

"This is absolutely fantastic," London-based media personality, singer and fashion designer Mica Paris told The BV Newswire about the news. "Thank God; this sends a message to the media in Britain that black is beautiful too."

And the folks over at Pride magazine, U.K'.s leading periodical targeting black woman, share the same sentiments.

"It's incredible to see such a strong, ambitious and inspirational black woman winning the Miss England crown," the monthly magazine's fashion and beauty editor Shevelle Rhule added. "She is a great role model to young teens and proves that beauty comes in all forms and that includes black."

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