GALLERY: Brundall beauty queen Jessica Linley's year as Miss England
PUBLISHED: 12:25 14 July 2011 | UPDATED: 12:37 14 July 2011
Jet-setting around the world, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous and sharing flapjacks with Cheryl Cole were just a handful of the things Norfolk's Jessica Linley did during the past year as Miss England.
The Brundall beauty queen was crowned Miss England in August last year. Since then she has travelled the world and carried out charity work which has changed the lives of hundreds of children.
The 22-year-old has visited China, Antigua, Dubai, Prague and Germany as part of her Miss England duties.
Miss Linley said: “China was fantastic. We travelled around for five weeks and went over to Mongolia where there was nothing compared to Shanghai, which was cosmopolitan.
“While I was there I did some work for the Variety Club Children’s Charity, which is the Miss World charity. I worked with disadvantaged and disabled children. Last year we helped to raise £109,000.
“The best part of Miss England was going to Dubai with Matt Dawson and Daley Thompson. We spent a lot of time together. When we weren’t working we went to a polo match. We had to spend a lot of time inside because it was so hot.”
Although she enjoyed travelling the world, she also loved exploring the UK.
“I had never been to Bath and it was lovely. So was Durham – both my parents went to uni there. I had only been there when I was a young girl.”
Miss Linley spent a lot of time modelling in London and made an appearance in the House of Lords to help launch the Circle of Life charity which helps world poverty and famine.
Her week would start with an email from her manager telling her about the week ahead.
“On Sunday night or Monday morning I would get a schedule and I would get last-minute calls asking me to go to places. It will be weird not getting the email any more. Most of the time you have to be flexible.
“Family comes first. I had my step-sister’s wedding in the Cotswolds a couple of weeks ago and I had to miss a trip to Gibraltar to judge the Miss Gibraltar competition.”
As well as judging pageants, Miss Linley presented coaches to charities to enable them to take children on trips.
“I went to a lot of coach presentations. It is nice to see where the money is going. I would spend the day looking around a school and then they would be given a coach at the end so the children can go on trips,” she said.
Despite living the high life, she will return to Nottingham University in September to study law.
“I still want to be a solicitor. I did an A-level in law this year just as an extra – it was a lot of work. I wanted to keep my head in the books.
“The thing about beauty pageants is that your looks don’t last forever but your memories do. Law is my long-term goal but I will still keep modelling.
“I get to keep the crown, so I will still be Miss England when I am washing up.”
Throughout her work, Miss Linley met some high-profile celebrities.
“I went to a Status Quo evening and sat next to Chris Tarrant at dinner. He was asking me all sorts of questions. It was so surreal. I met Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones.
“I was shooting a commercial and Cheryl Cole was shooting a L’Oreal commercial in the next studio so we shared a green room. She asked for diet Red Bull, Skittles, nuts and flapjacks. When I went in she said help yourself. I couldn’t believe I was sharing Cheryl Cole’s food.”
Tomorrow will be Miss Linley’s final duty before the final of Miss England next Tuesday which will see her relinquish the crown to a new beauty queen.
“On Friday I am doing coach presentations in Bolton. Monday and Tuesday will be the final of Miss England in Birmingham.
“In the last few weeks I have come to terms that it’s the end of my time as Miss England. I am excited to see who the next Miss England will be because I know all the girls and I will know how they are feeling.
“Me and last year’s Miss England speak all the time. It has been the best opportunity. Being Miss England has opened so many doors. This is not the end.
“It has been so much better than I thought it would be. I didn’t think I would be working so much. There was no part that didn’t live up to expectations.”