LILLY Hatwell was overcome with emotion when she was crowned the 2014 Blessing of the Fleet Princess on Saturday night.
“It was so overwhelming, I didn’t know what to say and I couldn’t stop crying,” she said.
The Milton teen, who attends St John the Evangelist High School in Nowra, said the lead-up to the ball and the event itself provided her with an opportunity to meet new people and form new friendships.
“I go to school in Nowra, so I had a chance to make a lot of new friends,” Lilly said.
“It has been the best experience of my life.”
Lilly is the daughter of Peter and Marion Hatwell and spends her time horse riding, reading and performing on the stage.
She enjoys acting and drama, and recently made her own short film about volunteers in the Milton-Ulladulla community.
Despite being overwhelmed with emotion, the former St Mary’s Primary School captain said she managed to compose herself on stage and thank her family, her partner Nathan O’Neill and sponsor the Mollymook Golf Club.
She is no stranger to public speaking, having appeared in the Young Entertainers School plays Cosi and Muriel’s Wedding, as well as school musicals, debating teams and eisteddfods.
Lilly said all 30 princesses looked “fantastic” in what was a great opportunity for the boys and girls to dress up and attend a formal event with their families.
She said she was nervous about the interview process, but explained the judges were “amazing and lovely” and made the entrants feel welcome and relaxed.
Lilly looked stunning in a cream gown with striped bodice and chiffon skirt which was the first one she chose off the rack and she immediately fell in love with after trying it on.
She will lead the Easter Sunday Blessing of the Fleet float parade through Ulladulla with her Frozen-themed creation.
“I’m really looking forward to the parade,” she said.
“Now I really have to make sure my float looks great.”