The Miss Kent runner up from Bromley has hopped over to Essex and taken the region's crown.

Ashling Lauren, 21, said she has links to the county and was able to enter - and walked away with the title on Wednesday (April 30). 

After coming second in the Miss Kent finals last month, the gym instructor said today (May 2) that she had "some amazing news".

Miss Lauren added: "After I came second in Miss Kent I found out that I was able to compete.

"I didnt want to give up and ended up coming first place - I am now officially Miss Essex."

The title means she will now join the other regional winners, including Kent's Milly Tritton, at the competition's grand final in June with a chance of becoming Miss England. 

The pageant girl, who suffered serious scarring as a toddler after an accident, said she was inspired to get involved in the contest by 2013 champion Kirsty Heslewood.

Having been mute as a child, the current Miss England star does a lot of work raising awareness of the disability.

Miss Lauren, who wants to get more involved in Children’s Burns Trust, explained: “I want to show we’re not all cut from the same mould. 

“I followed it last year and decided to enter – I was burned quite severely as a young child and I want to raise awareness of my charity and I want to show that anyone can do this."