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Miss England Katrina becomes a Mrs

It is no longer Miss but Mrs England - Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge, who currently wears the coveted crown, has married.

The soldier, dubbed "Combat Barbie", tied the knot in a secret ceremony held in Sri Lanka, in June.

She is understood to have wed fiance Neil - a soldier whose surname cannot be revealed for security reasons - after he proposed shortly after the Miss England contest last July.

"I'm just pleased my secret is out in the open now," she said. "I wanted to do my duty as Miss England and even though the wedding was planned, I had to keep it a secret until now because having the Miss England crown meant so much to me. I knew I could still compete in Miss World in South Africa in December as I wasn't married then. We married secretly in Sri Lanka in June."

The Lance Corporal - who became Miss England on November 5 and represented England in the 59th Miss World event - registered her marriage in Brighton in April.

This was followed by a ceremony attended by family and friends in Sri Lanka. The bride is understood to have worn a "recycled" wedding dress when she tied the knot.

Organisers of the Miss England competition said the 23-year-old, originally from Tunbridge Wells, in Kent, would not have to give up her crown because of her marriage.

Director Angie Beasley said: "Katrina hasn't broken any rules as she entered when she was single and was single when she competed in Miss World. We wish her all the best and a long and happy marriage."

The soldier, who served in Iraq, inherited her crown after the original winner dramatically stepped down. Rachel Christie relinquished the title following her arrest over an alleged nightclub brawl.

She is expected to reveal her wedding dress at a Miss England Eco party at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham on Tuesday.

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