A DELIGHTED 17 year-old Charlotte Ryan is the new Wisbech Rose Queen for 2012.
Charlotte, of Tydd St Giles, impressed the judges last night with her determination to overcome the difficulties she has faced after being born with cerebral palsy.
She was entered into the competition by her mum Paula and nan Freda Baker because they felt she deserved the chance.
Charlotte, who is studying a performing arts musical theatre course at the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn, was emotional when she was announced as the winner because being Rose Queen means such a lot to her.
She told the Citizen: “I am shocked. It has been difficult but it shows you can win competitions like this if you try.”
Charlotte hopes her success will spur others to pursue their dreams.
Proud mum Paula said Charlotte has had a cope with operations and she didn’t know she had been entered into the competition until she opened the Fenland Citizen and saw her picture.
A member of the Angles Theatre’s Ratz club, Charlotte is looking forward to leading the parade through Wisbech on July 7 and looking after the eight year-old attendants, Sophie Johnson and Pheobe Oram, who are the children of members of Wisbech Round Table - the group which organises the parade.
The judges had a difficult task chosing from the finalists and said how impressed they were with all the girls.
Savarna Burrows (15), of Murrow, was named as runner-up and the other finalists were Elle-Louise Budge (14), of Wisbech, Chelsea Newman (16), of Upwell, Kandice Burden (17), of Wisbech and Suzie Larham (18), of Wisbech who was unable to attend.
Judging were James Kooreman (Wisbech Round Table chairman), Simon Johnson (Round Table parade chairman), Carol Faulkner and Serena Ray, both of Young Romantics in Wisbech, and Barbara Oliver, of Fotogenic in Wisbech.
The finalists were all presented with bouquets from the Fenland Citizen and the reception was held at Cafe Studio in Etcetera with thanks to Ray and Jan Wicks.
Charlotte receives a trophy and sash, £150 from the Round Table, a special dress for the day from Young Romantics, her hair done on the day at the Cutting Rooms, a makeover photoshoot with Fotogenic and nails done by Lisa Bell.