A Spanish model living in East Lancashire has taken part in a socially-distanced beauty pageant in her home country.

Sara Botella, from Valencia but now living in Darwen, was a contestant in Miss World Spain amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The pageant lasted from July 19 to 26 and saw all the girls wearing masks and being socially distanced to ensure the safety of the contestants.

Miss Botella, who studies at Burnley College, said: “All of us wore masks even when we were together for dinner.

“We had a large area to eat in and if we wanted to talk then we would have to put on a mask to get closer to them.

“It was really strange to even wear masks with our dresses and when on stage together.

“We could not hug, which is strange for Spanish people because we love meeting with affection.”

Fifty-one girls took part in the pageant each hailing from different parts of Spain, with Miss Botella representing her grandma’s home city Teruel.

All the girls also won a contract with Miss World Spain, who will organise jobs for them.

Miss Botella said: “My grandma couldn’t come but she got to watch it live streamed and said I looked beautiful.

“It has been so great and fantastic, I did not win but I had the best time of my life.”

But the competition also saw the girls style their masks with their dresses in line with coronavirus measures.

She said: “During the week, we picked our own masks but for the finals we were given pink masks. Some girls styled their masks to their outfits with glitter and matching colours. I wore a white mask during the week to keep it standard and matching with anything I wore.

“But later I changed to black and then pink for the finals, I saw the girls properly on social media than I did in person.

“They even wore gloves to crown the winner.”

Each day from July 19, the girls were in small groups of ten and took part in different competitions until the final on Saturday, July 25.

The 25-year-old will be back in Darwen next week Monday, ready to focus on work and her beauty course exams at Burnley College.