Maine’s contestant in Saturday night’s Miss America pageant took home an award from the Queen of England’s husband during the event’s preliminary competition.

Julia Furtado, Miss Maine 2011, won the bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award Thursday night in Las Vegas. The award honors excellence in community service, talent and physical fitness. Created in 1956, the international award seeks to help young people reach their full potentials. Last year the charity formed a partnership with the Miss America Organization. This is the first year the pageant has handed out the awards.

“She’s represented Maine very well,” said Miss Maine spokesperson Audrey Findlen.

The daughter of Sherry and Edmund Furtado of Dayton, Furtado, 20, is an applied science major at the University of New England and a graduate of Catherine McAuley High School. Her father serves as a Maine State Trooper.

A vocalist, Furtado sang “Over the Rainbow” in the preliminary talent competition. Whether or not she gets to sing on live television will depend on if she makes it into the pageant’s top 10.

During Saturday’s pageant, which airs at 9 p.m. on ABC, Furtado will wear a MacDougal gown donated by Trisha’s in Topsham and a swimsuit donated by Kompliqué.

The pageant takes place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.


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