LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A British beauty queen has been stripped of her title after pageant organizers discovered she lied about her age and place of residence on the application form for the contest.
Hopefuls must be between the ages of 15 and 24 to participate in the Miss Cornwall pageant and 27-year-old English teacher Laura Anness claimed to be 22 on all the entry forms she submitted between 2006 and 2010, British papers reported.
Competition organizer Becky Chapman discovered the old applications while cleaning her office.
When she went to confront Anness at her home, she found that the beauty queen lived not in Saltash, Cornwall as she had written on the application form, but in Plymouth, Devon. According to the rules of the contest, entrants must either live, work or study in Cornwall.
Anness apologized for the incident, explaining that she had lied about her age to follow her dream.
Chapman expressed pity for Anness.
"I feel sorry for her, she'd been entering these contests for years and never won, and now she has finally won she gets her title taken from her," Chapman told the Mail.
As well as the prized crown and sash, Anness has given up 2,000 pounds ($3,013) worth of prizes, a 12 month modeling contract, and a chance to compete for the Miss England title.
Runner-up Samantha Jane Orpe will take her title and place in the Miss England final.
(Reporting by Isabel Coles, editing by Paul Casciato)