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Rose who met Obama swaps crown for the classroom as she heads for PhD challenge

REIGNING Rose of Tralee Clare Kambamettu is set to swap the limelight for the books next month when she returns to college.

The gorgeous brunette (26) told the Herald how she is looking forward to taking a step back from her glamourous life to begin a PhD.

Clare is due to move to Galway in the coming weeks, to undertake a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

The brainy beauty already has an arts degree from NUIG, and a Master's in Psychology from King's College in London.

Clare admits that it will be an emotional experience when she hands over her crown to her successor later this month, but says she's looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Among the highlights of her year's reign was meeting US President Barack Obama.

"It will be kind of bittersweet because it has been a wonderful year," she said.

"I've done loads of travelling. I'd say I've done about 5,000 kilometres, across the length and breadth of the country.

"And I did get to meet Obama. He was very nice and welcoming."

Clare wowed in an emerald green dress and gold headpiece at yesterday's Blossom Hill Ladies' Day event at the Dublin Horse Show.

But she was pipped to the post in the best-dressed competition by Carlow native Yvette Byrne.