Yorkshire student becomes first woman to compete in Miss England finals wearing a hijab

The Miss England contestant from Huddersfield. Photo: SWNS
The Miss England contestant from Huddersfield. Photo: SWNS
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A law student from Huddersfield became the first woman to compete in the Miss England finals wearing a hijab.

Sara Iftekhar, 20, competed against 49 other hopefuls at the contest after previously being crowned Miss Huddersfield.

The Miss England contestant from Huddersfield. Photo: SWNS

The Miss England contestant from Huddersfield. Photo: SWNS

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Sara has thousands of followers on Instagram - where she shares pictures of herself in traditional Pakistani dress.

Speaking on her Instagram page of her pride at reaching the final, she said: "Wow, I can’t even comprehend how amazing it felt for my name to be announced as a finalist in the Miss England Finals 2018.

“It was an incredible experience and something which I will never be able to forget.

“The opportunities which I have received with being a finalist in Miss England are opportunities which I would never have thought of, and will forever be grateful for.”

Women have worn the hijab in qualifying rounds but Sara is the first to wear it for a final.

On a fundraising page she set up for children's charity Beauty with a Purpose, Ms Iftekhar wrote: "I participated in Miss 2018 in order to show that beauty doesn't have a definition.

"Everyone is beautiful in their own ways, regardless of their weight, race, colour or shape."

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A hijab is a veil worn by some Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest.

The Miss England 2018 final on September 4 was held at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire.

The winner of the contest - Miss Newcastle Alisha Cowie, 18 - will now compete at Miss World.

Other contestants included Sophie Hall - who was left with permanent scars following an acid attack in East London - and mental health campaigner Sarah-Jane Hulyer.