It was a dream come true as a beauty pageant finalist from Lancing was crowned Miss Teen Diamond United Kingdom on Saturday.
Chloe Ellman-Baker said she ‘burst into tears’ as she was announced as one of six winners at the Miss Diamond United Kingdom finals in Bournemouth.
She said: “It was such an amazing weekend. I had no clue I was going to win, it was definitely a shock.”
The win means the 18-year-old student, who lives in Coombes Road, will now compete internationally at the Regency Finals in Las Vegas in July.
She said: “I’ve never travelled so far. It’s my dream.”
Chloe said she was particularly shocked to win considering she had only signed up for the pageant in February.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into a pageant before the night. I was working my socks off,” she said.
“I spent quite a lot of time helping out in the community.”
Attending events to help raise money for Julia’s House, a children’s hospice, helped Chloe win the title of Miss Publicity at the finals.
She was also named Miss Teen Interview and best in evening wear.
In the lead up to the final, in which she competed as Miss Teen Sussex alongside 50 other women from around the country, she said she felt ‘absolutely petrified’.
But she added: “You’ve got to enjoy things like this if you compete. There’s no point stressing out.”
Chloe could be reassured by the thought of her mother supporting her from the audience.
She said: “My mum used to compete in pageants when she was 18. I’ve always shared the same dream and wanted to follow in her footsteps.”
Ahead of the finals in America, Chloe will continue to raise funds for Julia’s House as well as the hospice St Barnabas, where both of her grandparents received ‘the best care’.
She said it could be a ‘hard balance’ as she continues to work towards her A Levels at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College in Hove.
Chloe also co-presents a YouTube channel called C.StarzTV and studies musical theatre at The Theatre Workshop in Brighton.
But she is looking forward to meeting up with the other beauty queens she met on Saturday for the next competition.
“They already feel like family,” she said.
READ MORE: Pageant queen prepares for national final