April Banbury, daughter of Olympic bronze medallist, 30, becomes the first ever Ms Great Britain

A bridal gown designer has been crowned the first ever Ms Great Britain, after the contest introduced a new category for women over 28.  

April Banbury, 30, from Hemel Hempsted, Hertfordshire, was declared the winner of the new beauty contest,  beating hundreds of other contestants to take home the crown in a glittering ceremony in Leicester.

The beauty queen is the daughter of Ian Banbury, who represented Great Britain in the 1976 Olympic Games, and became the youngest athlete in the world to win a bronze medal for cycling. 

And she told Femail she’s delighted she never gave up on her dream after being a runner up in Miss Great Britain twice.  

April Banbury, 30, from Hemel Hempsted, Hertfordshire, was crowned Miss GB on Friday, beating out hundreds of other contestants to take home the crown in a glittering ceremony in Leicester

Speaking to Femail, she explained how she was raised by her father and grandmother, to whom she attributes her success. 

She said: ‘My grandmother taught my dad how to be a champion, and in turn they passed their knowledge on to me.

‘They gave me invaluable lessons told me believe in myself and never give up on my dreams’.

No stranger to the spotlight, April finished first runner-up in the Miss Great Britain final in both 2014 and 2016.

No stranger from the spotlight, April finished first runner-up in the Miss Great Britain final in both 2014 and 2016. She's also dipped her toes into reality TV, and in 2011 came third in Channel 5's The Bachelor, where she competed for the love of Welsh rugby hunk Gavin Henson. She is pictured here in Ibiza

No stranger from the spotlight, April finished first runner-up in the Miss Great Britain final in both 2014 and 2016. She’s also dipped her toes into reality TV, and in 2011 came third in Channel 5’s The Bachelor, where she competed for the love of Welsh rugby hunk Gavin Henson. She is pictured here in Ibiza

She’s also dipped her toes into reality TV, and in 2011 came third in Channel 5’s The Bachelor, where she competed for the love of Welsh rugby hunk Gavin Henson 

‘I have the runners up curse, always coming second!’  April told Femail. ‘I entered Miss Great Britain twice and came second both times. 

‘I fought so hard and never gave up. So to win the first ever Ms Great Britain and make history meant the world. 

‘I genuinely believe if you have a goal you should never give up. My dad was an Olympic champion and always taught me to go for my dreams.’ 

'I have the runners up curse, always coming second!' April told Femail. 'I entered Miss Great Britain twice and came second both times'. She is pictured here getting ready for a glamorous night out.

‘I have the runners up curse, always coming second!’ April told Femail. ‘I entered Miss Great Britain twice and came second both times’. She is pictured here getting ready for a glamorous night out. 

'I fought so hard and never gave up so to win the first ever Ms Great Britain and make history meant the world. I genuinely believe if you have a goal you should never give up. My dad was an Olympic champion and always taught me to go for my dreams' April added

‘I fought so hard and never gave up so to win the first ever Ms Great Britain and make history meant the world. I genuinely believe if you have a goal you should never give up. My dad was an Olympic champion and always taught me to go for my dreams’ April added

April says her passion is to make woman feel empowered and beautiful in her designs. She is pictured here on stage with the newly crowned Miss Great Britain

April says her passion is to make woman feel empowered and beautiful in her designs. She is pictured here on stage with the newly crowned Miss Great Britain

April says her passion is to make women feel empowered and beautiful in her designs. 

She creates sumptuous bespoke garments by hand and she even wore her own design in the competition.

‘I was a finalist in Britain’s Top Designer and although I didn’t win, my hard work took me to London Fashion Week’ she said.

‘It was a dream come true. I’ve always had a little insecure fairy on the inside saying I might not be good enough. 

‘When I showed my first couture collection which I handmade here in England by myself – I spent so many hours hidden away creating these handmade garments – and so when I got the positive feedback that I did, I was truly humbled. I cried – a lot. 

The bridal gown designer, 30, is the daughter of Ian Banbury, who represented Great Britain in the 1976 Olympic Games, and became the youngest athlete in the world to win a bronze medal for cycling.

The bridal gown designer, 30, is the daughter of Ian Banbury, who represented Great Britain in the 1976 Olympic Games, and became the youngest athlete in the world to win a bronze medal for cycling.

‘I was the first designer to use models of diversity at London Fashion Week. My main model had Down’s syndrome’ she added.

‘I remember her and her mother thanking me for such a rare opportunity, and I thought to myself that they shouldn’t have to be overwhelmed with gratitude, because it should be something we consider as normal.’ 

Ms Great Britain was set up to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Miss Great Britain pageant, the country’s longest-running beauty contest which has a stringent set of rules, including that all contestants must be ages between 18 and 27.

April says she was the first designer to use first designer to use models of diversity at London Fashion Week, she is pictured with her main model, who has down syndrome

April says she was the first designer to use first designer to use models of diversity at London Fashion Week, she is pictured with her main model, who has down syndrome 

April's models are pictured ahead of their London Fashion Week show in her handmade bridal designs

April’s models are pictured ahead of their London Fashion Week show in her handmade bridal designs



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