By Deborah Arthurs
Trio of beauties: The new Miss England Alize Lily Mounter poses flanked by runners up, Miss London Rissikat Bade, left, and Miss Rugby, Rebecca Morton, right
A new Miss England was crowned last night as 64 models battled it out for the chance to compete at Miss World.
Miss Everymodel - Alize Lily Mounter to friends - eventually won over the judges of the glittering show, watched by an audience of 600 at West London's Hilton Metropole hotel.
Cheered on by her mother and friends, the 22-year-old blonde, from Kensington, London, took top points across three rounds, modelling sportswear, eveningwear and a red-and-white 'national' costume designed especially for the contest.
Coming a close second was Miss London, 21-year-old Rissikat Bade, a law student, with Miss Rugby, Rebecca Morton, coming in third place.
Blonde ambition: Alize Lily Mount was a deserving winner, runner-up Rissikat Bade said. 'She put so much effort in, and she's a really lovely girl'
It was almost impossible to decide between the top three girls, the judges said, but eventually the title was handed to Miss Mounter.
Exhausted but ecstatic, the new Miss England - born in Wales to a British father and Hungarian mother - said she was elated by her win.
'I'm so excited, I can't believe it. I never expected to win,' she said after the show.
Miss Everymodel was one of the bookmakers' favourites to win the competition, with runners-up Miss London and Miss Rugby also hotly tipped for the top.
Beauty queen: Miss Everymodel Alize Lily Mounter took top prize at last night's Miss England contest, watched by a crowd of 600
But while the bookies thought the contest was all sewn up, the girls weren't so sure.
'Even when you're tipped as a favourite, you never allow yourself to think you might win,' Miss Mounter said.
The runners-up were gracious in defeat. 'She was a very worthy winner,' said runner-up Miss London, Rissikat Bade. 'She's really lovely, a real girl-next-door.
'She put the effort in, she deserved to win.'
And in a twist of fate, the new Mr England was announced as Surrey-based Roland Johnson, the new Miss England had yet more reason to celebrate. Mr Johnson is a longtime friend of the Miss Mounter, and reluctantly entered Mr England after she convinced him to do so.
Having gone on to win the title, the two will now take on the duties of Mr and Miss England side-by-side.
It was ultimately down to the judges, a personal choice, but any one of the final three girls could have won,' Miss England spokesman Victor Trokie said. 'It was incredibly close.'
'One of the things they were looking for this year more than ever was a girl who could be a great ambassador for Miss England.'
'We had a great deal of academically gifted applicants this year, as well as those who do a lot of work for charity.
Reigning couple: The new Mr England, Roland Johnson, was encouraged to enter the contest by close friend Alize Lily - who was last night crowned Miss England. The two will take on duties side-by-side
'A girl doesn't have to be academically gifted to win, but she does have to be a good person - presentable, and a good ambassador.'
Miss Mounter, currently studying journalism at university, is a talented dancer and a signed model, having taken part in campaigns for Marks & Spencer and Johnson & Johnson, among others, and appeared on Britain's Next Top Model in 2010.
She also speaks French and Welsh, is a talented photographer and a keen runner who hopes to take part in the London marathon.
Before then though, Miss Mounter will be duting off her crown to take part in the Miss World on 6 November this year. It is the first time the competition will be held on home turf for decades - and the first time in many years it will be shown on terrestrial television.
'This is the year that the contest could be placed very much back on the map,' the Miss England spokesperson said.