A SHOCKED gasp and a hug from mum is how 18-year-old Amy Harrison greeted the news that she had been chosen as the 2012 Spalding Flower Queen.
A total of 17 young women entered this year’s competition and Amy was one of a shortlist of five to go through to the finals held at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding on Friday.
Amy, of Grange Drive, Spalding, will now take a principal role in the 54th Flower Parade on May 5, when she will ride on a flower-decorated float, and will act as ambassador for South Holland throughout her term in office.
The petite blonde, an A-level student at Spalding Grammar School, was clearly surprised and delighted as the news was announced by judge and Flower Queen coordinator Jan Whitbourn from Tulip Radio, who helped to run the event with parade managers Kenyon Communication.
“I don’t think it has quite registered yet,” said a stunned Amy soon after the crowning ceremony performed by 2011 Flower Queen Daisy Ivatt.
“I didn’t expect it at all. I am not from round here originally but my family has always come for the Flower Parade even before I was born. I think my grandad will be coming to see this year’s parade now.”
Amy, who finishes A levels in Business Studies, ICT and Psychology in a couple of months’ time and plans to take a gap year before going to university to study to become a paramedic, will be joined on parade day by the runners-up in the competition.
They are Lauren Rate (17), of Pinchbeck, Jessica Hallifax (17), of Holbeach St Johns, Domenique Fragale (17), of Cowbit, and Vicky Orme (18), of Spalding.
Amy’s prize includes a cheque for £100 from Spalding Flower Parade, dinner for two in Cley Hall Hotel’s Garden Restaurant, a dress or evening gown from Fancy Frox, gym membership at The Fitness Company, a Jersey pearl necklace from Penman Jewellery Shop, a bouquet of flowers from Flowers ‘n’ Things, a hair styling consultation at Hedonism and a £50 voucher from Springfields Shopping Outlet.
The runners-up were each given a £20 voucher from Springfields Shopping Outlet and a posy of flowers from Flowers ‘n’ Things.
In addition, all the contestants have been invited to join a float in this year’s Flower Parade.
Compere Chris Carter thanked all the sponsors, Kenyon Communications and these newspapers.