Beauty queen from Heckmondwike wins European pageant

A beauty queen from Heckmondwike has won her fourth beauty pageant after overcoming years of bullying and a lack of self confidence.

By Jessica Barton
Friday, 25th February 2022, 12:43 pm
Clare Hurst crowned as Miss Heart of European Rose.
Clare Hurst crowned as Miss Heart of European Rose.

Thirty-five year old Clare Louise Hurst is celebrating her fourth beauty pageant title, after winning the Miss Heart of European Rose crown.

Clare had always dreamed of attending beauty pageants, after watching them on TV as a child.

However, she suffered from self-confidence issues due to being badly bullied as a teeneager, and was scared that people would make fun of her.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

Clare and husband Sean Hurst.

With the support of her family and husband Sean, Clare competed in her first pageant, North Miss Wigan Beauty, at 20 years old.

She has now won her fourth title and hopes to one day compete internationally.

Clare said: “My mum said ‘you are who you are, and if that is what you want to do then we will all support you with it’ and I realised she was right.

“This is something I have always been very passionate about and I really wanted to go and give it a try.

Clare and her grandma Shirley who passed away in 2019.

“I was nervous to do my first pageant, but as soon as I got there everyone was really nice and welcoming.

“I just did my best and I ended up winning my first title Miss Wigan Beauty - it was the proudest moment of my life.

“Since then my confidence has truly blossomed to how I used to be - I would never look back.”

Clare has since gone on to win three other titles including Miss United Kingdom Role Model, Miss United Kingdom Rose Woman and most recently Miss Heart of European Rose.

Clare and MP Kim Leadbeater.

Clare said she “couldn't believe” she had won Miss Heart of European Rose, but was “gutted” at the same time because she couldn't make it to the final, which took place in October 2021.

She added: “I found out in October 2021, while I was at work I received an email from my directors saying that I had won the title of Miss Heart of European Rose, because I have a heart of gold - I just couldn't believe it.

“I will now represent the title of Miss European Rose for 12 months.

“I am then hoping to go bigger and higher, with my next dream to compete internationally.”

As well as competing in beauty pageants Clare also dedicates much of her time to raising money for charity, with her latest fundraiser being a swimathon for Marie Curie.

She said: “My grandma Shirley died of cancer in 2019, and Marie Curie made her as comfortable as possible in her last days.

“Because it’s close to my heart, I want to do the swimathon to keep her memory alive - she was so proud and always supported me.

“I know she will be smiling down.

“So far, I have raised £83 which includes a donation from local MP Kim Leadbeater.

“Ms Leadbeater has also said she will come to support me at the swimathon on March 25 - which is an honour.”

Ms Leadbeater has described Clare as a “positive” and “inspirational” young woman.

Ms Leadbeater added: “I was delighted to meet her recently and hear about how she overcame bullying and followed her dreams to achieve four beauty queen titles including her latest, Miss Heart of European Rose.

“We spoke about the challenges of hidden disabilities and mental health and the money she has raised for charities including Mind.

“As Clare said to me, mental health is very important. It’s OK not to be OK and no-one should ever be afraid to ask for help, even though it can be hard.

“I want to wish Clare well for her next challenge, a swimathon next month when she will be raising money for Marie Curie UK in memory of her grandma who died of cancer.”

Clare’s swimathon will take place on March 25 at the new Spen Valley Leisure Centre, Bradford Road, Liversedge.

Donations can be made via Clare’s Just Giving Page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clare-hurst7