Miss England 2019, Bhasha Mukherjee, has decided to hang up her crown and return to work as a doctor during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The 24-year-old took a career break as a junior doctor after competing in the Miss World pageant in December 2019.
The beauty queen told CNN on Monday that she has returned to the United Kingdom to assist her fellow health care workers.
According to Mukherjee, it didn’t feel right for her to continue wearing her Miss England crown even if she was performing humanitarian work while her colleagues were risking their lives treating coronavirus patients back home.
“When you are doing all this humanitarian work abroad, you’re still expected to put the crown on, get ready … look pretty,” she said. “I wanted to come back home. I wanted to come and go straight to work.”
Mukherjee told CNN she had to return from India from a charity trip when her colleagues at the the Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, England, started messaging her about the difficulties frontline workers had been experiencing amid the health crisis.
“I felt a sense of this is what I’d got this degree for and what better time to be part of this particular sector than now,” she shared. “It was incredible the way the whole world was celebrating all key workers, and I wanted to be one of those, and I knew I could help.”
Mukherjee returned to England on Wednesday and is currently in self-isolation as recommended by health officials before she can return to work.
“There’s no better time for me to be Miss England and helping England at a time of need,” she told the outlet.
As of Monday, there are at least 51,608 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.K., with 5,373 deaths.