North Carolina Azalea Festival

Athlete to Princess, Welcome Miss Claire-Emma Britt!

Wow, what an experience this has been so far leading up to the moment of being crowned the 71st NC Azalea Festival Princess. March 2nd, 2019 is one night I will never forget. Last year, I attended the 2018 princess pageant to support one of my amazing friends and teammates, Julie Wilkerson and I was so proud of her. Fast forward a year, as I was sitting in Port City Java doing homework one night, I see information about the first interest meeting for the pageant on Grace’s Instagram. I knew that this would be an amazing experience that I did not want to miss out on, so I decided to go. I went through this experience with my best friend Raegan, and along the way made so many new friends. For those few months, the two hours that we all spent together every Sunday gave me so much to look forward to. Joining together, seeing new faces, meeting new friends, learning dances, and being present in the moment with 20 amazing girls was something so special to me. Not to mention Mrs. Amy & Mrs. Kande; without you this event would never take place. You two are the best, you always greeted us with smiles and kept us organized. Mrs. Christy, Clara, and Grace are all lights to this world who made each meeting so much fun. Thank you Grace for your astounding service and commitment this year, I am so excited to follow in your footsteps!

            There is no denying that this process was challenging in some ways, but along the way you discover things about yourself that you may have never thought about! Although I’ve always had an idea of what my strengths, passions, and ambitions are, this process has allowed me to self reflect, and truly get to know myself better.

            After rehearsal on the Friday night before the pageant, we all went home to get some rest for private interview the next morning! The nerves were definitely beginning to build up, and I remember waking up very anxious on Saturday. My mom has been my rock through all of this, and she reminded me that I am the best version of myself when I am true to who I am. That night, I felt such a fun energy being around all the girls, getting hair and makeup done, and getting dressed up so fancy! Being an athlete, this type of wardrobe doesn’t happen often, so I had so much fun with it! As the competition progressed, my nerves grew as I anticipated the on-stage questions, but with that came so much excitement.

            When I heard my name called as the 2019 Azalea Festival Princess, it did not feel real at first. I was overcome with joy to know that in that moment I was being awarded such a special honor. I looked into the audience to see my family and friends cheering for me, and it meant everything to feel that immense support. My court, Shoshana, Jessi, Ella and Elissa have been such blessings to me. You are all such beautiful, genuine girls and I am so lucky to know each of you. I am also so excited to begin this journey together!

            I must say, the first few minutes of being Princess are a bit overwhelming…so many pictures, smiles, hugs, repeating “did that really just happen” to yourself in your head, but it is a feeling I will never forget, it was a standstill moment in time.

            Weeks of preparation go into this one day that the audience doesn’t get to see but it is all so worth it. To Mrs. Angela- Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being patient with me, encouraging me, believing in me, and making sure I was well prepared for this special day and evening. You gave me confidence and helped me and my mom remain as calm as possible.

            I am grateful to God for this opportunity and could not be more excited for the upcoming Azalea Festival week and all the events this year; as well as an entire year filled with amazing memories! What an honor it is to be representing and serving Wilmington as the 71st North Carolina Azalea Festival Princess. I am looking forward to meeting so many new faces and representing this one-of-a-kind festival; the best in the State!

Lots of Love,

Your 71st NC Azalea Festival Princess

Claire-Emma Britt