A Tiffin Girls’ School graduate from Ham is going to be representing Surrey in this year’s revamped Miss England 2018.

The winner of the home counties contest, being held at Anstey Hall, Cambridge, then can compete in the semi-final in July, with the possibility of being crowned Miss England at the final and entered into Miss World, where the prize is £100,000.

Phoebe Rudd, 22, said she is excited to be part of a new generation of beauty pageants, where character and achievements count as much as appearance.

She said: “They’re trying to make it a little more feminist, so they’re going on what you’ve got going on other than your looks, which should work in my favour."

As well as being a straight A* student throughout her school career, Phoebe has won the Jack Petchey Achievement Award, interviewed survivors of conflict and is now planning her own war documentary.

Pheobe said: “When I was 18 I flew into Kiev in Ukraine, which was the height of the recent conflict; I did some work there and got a feel for what life was like in a conflict situation.

“I’m planning to go to Jordan this summer and so I’m planning to film my documentary on that.”

She has also worked as an analyst for The Economist and is in her final year at the London School of Economics.

Balancing her studies with the competition, Phoebe said she has also just helped launch ‘Cerebral Gym’ – a private members’ club in Mortimer House, Fitzrovia, where culture, talks and debates are the centrepiece.

The first event, on Wednesday February 28, was an opera led by Ilona Domnich, a lyric soprano, and hosted by Lucy Woodruff, a choral singer who organised opera appreciation events.

With all this standing her in good stead, Phoebe is feeling optimistic about the upcoming contest, despite it being her first pageant competition.

Phoebe said: “I’ve been scouted for modelling before but never persued it because I was too busy with my work.

“The idea to redefine a beauty pageant to make it more well-represented and about what women can achieve – I’m all for it. I’d love to be at the head of that.”