Cherry Valentine’s most iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race moments 

Drag lovers were heartbroken to learn that George Ward – known by fans as Cherry Valentine and who also went by Georgie – died on Sunday aged 28.

The sensational performer became a quick fan favourite after appearing on season two of RuPaul’s drag race, despite being eliminated after the second episode.

Georgie’s co-star Bimini Bon Boulash led tributes to the performer and described them as ‘one of those souls so pure, so raw, so real’.

A statement from their family said: ‘It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away.

Drag lovers were heartbroken to learn that George Ward - known by fans as Cherry Valentine and who also went by Georgie - died on Sunday aged 28

Drag lovers were heartbroken to learn that George Ward – known by fans as Cherry Valentine and who also went by Georgie – died on Sunday aged 28 

‘This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.

‘As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.

‘We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched.

‘All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.’ 

The sensational performer became a quick fan favourite after appearing on season two of RuPaul's drag race, despite being eliminated after the second episode

The sensational performer became a quick fan favourite after appearing on season two of RuPaul’s drag race, despite being eliminated after the second episode 

Georgie, who used they/them pronouns, showed both the fun side or performing as well as touching on the difficulties of being marginalised. 

The star appeared on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before launching a TV career and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.

Here, FEMAIL rounds up the incredible artist’s best moments, from heartfelt conversations about being LGBTQIA+ in the Traveler community to fabulous runway looks.

An iconic entrance

Cherry's glam entrance look featured a sultry black and red number, channeling a fierce gothic vibe

Cherry’s glam entrance look featured a sultry black and red number, channeling a fierce gothic vibe

Georgie became memorable as soon as they entered the screen during their Drag Race stint when their elaborate headpiece fell off after hitting the door frame

Laughing and mortified, a glammed up Cherry went back and re-entered, this time crouching down to avoid the faux-paus

Laughing and mortified, a glammed up Cherry went back and re-entered, this time crouching down to avoid the faux-paus

Georgie became memorable as soon as they entered the screen during their Drag Race stint when their elaborate headpiece fell off after hitting the door frame. 

Laughing and mortified, a glammed up Cherry went back and re-entered, this time crouching down to avoid the faux-paus.

Their entrance look featured a sultry black and red number, channeling a fierce gothic vibe.

Long, flowing sleeves added drama to the look and accentuated the performer’s silhouette. 

In December 2020, Georgie was announced as one of 12 contestants competing in the second series of the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

In their introductory video for the show, they described their Cherry Valentine alter-ego as ‘glamour’, ‘dark’ and ‘gothic’.

They said their work as a nurse had ‘put me in that right position to be able to understand people a bit more.

‘If you are a drag queen you are working with people. And to understand people I think you go the extra mile.’

Channeling Freddie Mercury in the Break Free music video with a sensational runway look 

Taking inspiration from Queen front man Freddie Mercury, Georgie recreated the singer's famous drag look from the I Want to Break Free music video

Taking inspiration from Queen front man Freddie Mercury, Georgie recreated the singer’s famous drag look from the I Want to Break Free music video

The first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK asked contestants to create a runway look inspired by gay British icons.

Taking inspiration from Queen front man Freddie Mercury, Georgie recreated the singer’s famous drag look from the I Want to Break Free music video.

Paying homage to the singer, who has long been celebrated in the LGBTQIA+ community, Cherry teamed a pink halter neck top with a chic mini skirt and theatrical knee-high boots. 

Much like Freddie, Cherry sported a huge wig, using a vacuum cleaner as a prop.

Keeping true to the Queen vocalist’s look, the drag queen also wore a moustache, in a move they described as the ultimate form of gender expression.  

Getting candid about toxic masculinity in Traveler community 

After appearing on the show, Georgie joined with the BBC to produce a documentary exploring their Traveller heritage

After appearing on the show, Georgie joined with the BBC to produce a documentary exploring their Traveller heritage

One of the more poignant parts of the Georgie’s TV appearances was their focus on sexual orientation identities within the Traveler community. 

They have described traditional male and female roles to ‘very binary’ in the culture, which at times led to personal struggles.

Opening up about their experience on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Georgie said: ‘Being a Traveler to me has never really been something that I’ve talked about.’

They continued: ‘I was always brought up that you’ll find a wife, you’ll get married, you’ll have some kids, you’ll be the man of the family. 

‘So obviously when I started having feelings of being gay and being different, I wasn’t the right thing in my mind, that I should be doing.

Opening up about their experience on Ru Paul's Drag Race, Georgie said being a Traveler to me has 'never really been something that they'd talked about'

Opening up about their experience on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Georgie said being a Traveler to me has ‘never really been something that they’d talked about’

‘But you can’t help it, it’s just who you are.

‘In the Traveling community, there is toxic masculinity. So it’s like, being a drag queen and working in make-up and being a nurse…all these things have things behind them that say ‘a man shouldn’t do this’.’

‘I even feel weird saying I’m gay…I shouldn’t feel like that at 26-years-old, I should be like “I’m gay and I’m proud”.

‘But I don’t think I’m fully proud in the sense that I need my family with me as well.’

After appearing on the show, Georgie joined with the BBC to produce a documentary exploring their Traveller heritage.

In the 2022 special, called Gypsy Queen And Proud, they revisited the community they left aged 18.

Georgie opened up about the difficulties of growing up as a queer person in the Gypsy community in the eye-opening documentary. 

In the 2022 special, called Gypsy Queen And Proud, they revisited the community they left aged 18

In the 2022 special, called Gypsy Queen And Proud, they revisited the community they left aged 18

They grew up as part of Romany Traveller community in Darlington, but left at the age of 18 after receiving a negative reaction from their family when they came out as gay.

The drag artist revealed they struggled to view their sexuality in a positive light after being spat on, physically assaulted and harassed with homophobic slurs at school. 

Appearing on BBC Three documentary Gypsy Queen and Proud, Georgie revealed that they no longer have a relationship with the Traveller community or members of their extended family. 

‘My experience growing up as a queer person in that community really affected my entire life,’ said George.  

‘I constantly have this pressure on me of trying to be perfect all the time. I’ve built this image of who I should be and it’s not who I am deep down. The feeling of being someone I don’t want to be, Cherry doesn’t feel that as much as I do’.

Showing hometown pride

Being from Darlington, Georgie stunned in a steampunk, Victorian inspired ensemble with a figure-hugging corset and fishnet tights

Being from Darlington, Georgie stunned in a steampunk, Victorian inspired ensemble with a figure-hugging corset and fishnet tights

They wore a fitted, ornate blazer jacket on top, sporting a snatched make-up look with heavy eyeliner

They wore a fitted, ornate blazer jacket on top, sporting a snatched make-up look with heavy eyeliner

The first episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK’s second season featured some iconic outfits as the stars hit the runway to display their hometown looks.

Being from Darlington, Georgie stunned in a steampunk, Victorian inspired ensemble with a figure-hugging corset and fishnet tights. 

They wore a fitted, ornate blazer jacket on top, sporting a snatched make-up look with heavy eyeliner.

As a prop, Cherry carried a large clock – in homage of Darlington’s Clock Tower – and got creative as she blew something appearing to be smoke to recreate the aesthetic of a steam engine.

‘I’m rocking out with my clock out,’ Georgie cheekily quipped in the confessional as they described their look.

‘I’m walking down the runway and I’m feeling this steampunk Victorian fantasy…’

Administering the COVID-19 vaccine while looking fabulous 

In a bid to get more people jabbed, Georgie, who has volunteered in a vaccination centre, once appearing as Cherry Valentine

In a bid to get more people jabbed, Georgie, who has volunteered in a vaccination centre, once appearing as Cherry Valentine 

When filming of Drag Race had to pause mid-season due to the pandemic, Georgie started working shifts in a vaccination centre in Manchester

When filming of Drag Race had to pause mid-season due to the pandemic, Georgie started working shifts in a vaccination centre in Manchester

In a bid to get more people jabbed, Georgie, who has volunteered in a vaccination centre, once appearing as Cherry Valentine. 

In their BBC Three documentary, Georgie said: ‘Because of my new following, the centre have asked me to come in as Cherry to promote the vaccine.’

Expressing their nerves at merging the ‘separate worlds’ together, the performer continued: ‘I’m mixing the two and I don’t know how to be. 

‘…I was consciously thinking about how I should be acting right now…I just feel like I’m going crazy.’

When filming of Drag Race had to pause mid-season due to the pandemic, Georgie  started working shifts in a vaccination centre in Manchester.

Georgie had said: ‘Covid was such a massive shock to everyone and I felt, ‘Well, I’m a qualified nurse I need to be doing something.’

‘Drag is my passion and my dream but I do love being a nurse – it’s something I’ll always do.’

Showing off her lip-synching chops with a Broadway rendition

In one of their most memorable appearances, Cherry silently belted out to Elaine Paige's voice in a signature move in the competition

In one of their most memorable appearances, Cherry silently belted out to Elaine Paige’s voice in a signature move in the competition

In one of their most memorable appearances, Cherry silently belted out to Elaine Paige's voice in a signature move in the competition

In one of their most memorable appearances, Cherry silently belted out to Elaine Paige’s voice in a signature move in the competition

Although they didn’t win the lip sync battle which would keep them in the competition for Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Georgie still gave it her all while they mouthed along to memories from the Broadway musical Cats.

In one of their most memorable appearances, Cherry silently belted out to Elaine Paige’s voice in a signature move in the competition. 

Going up against Tayce, Cherry rocked a ‘Surprise, Surprise’ themed runway look with a gender-reveal themed ensemble.

They donned a mustard yellow shift dress with polka-dot decorated bowties. 

To amp the look up, Cherry sported feline-like, claw-esque acrylic nails.  

A matching make-up look was teamed with a short dark wig as Cherry channeled an emotionally charged serenade in a bid to stay in the race.

Offering some perspective

Ginny earlier today shared the sweet photo in a tribute to their late co-star. 'I'm crying so much and I'm also laughing at all the happy memories,' they penned

Ginny earlier today shared the sweet photo in a tribute to their late co-star. ‘I’m crying so much and I’m also laughing at all the happy memories,’ they penned

At a 2021 event in March, Cherry Valentine left social media users in stitches when a picture of her and Drag Race co-star Ginny Lemon emerged.

The pair, stood side-by-side, showed off their height difference as a glam, sequined Cherry towered over a tiny Ginny – whose real name is Lewis Mandall.

Fans were delighted with the humorous picture, as a RuPaul Facebook fan page shared the snap with the caption: ‘Elegant mummy Cherry Valentine dropping off her child for their school trip to Alton Towers.’

The performer later tweeted: ‘All jokes aside, I was wearing 10 inch heels and @GinnyLemon69 was in fish slippers, so the height difference was understandable.’

Ginny earlier today shared the sweet photo in a tribute to their late co-star. 

‘I’m crying so much and I’m also laughing at all the happy memories,’ they penned. 

‘So many happy happy memories, the “tour time portal”, the broken nail, and all those “silly silly girls” and I’ll never forget the 9am goodnight hug.

‘Cherry my darling, I love you so much, my heart is broken.’

Infectious laugh

The performer was known for their quips, followed by a delighted giggle which lit up the screen

The performer was known for their quips, followed by a delighted giggle which lit up the screen

During their brief time on the show, fans delighted in Georgie’s infectious laugh during confessionals. 

The performer was known for their quips, followed by a delighted giggle which lit up the screen.

The drag queen has been praised for her ‘infectious spirit’ by Bimini Bon Boulash, who also took part in the second season of the BBC Three show.

After hearing the tragic news, Bimini – whose real name is Tommy Hibbitts – wrote on Twitter: ‘At a loss for words. One of those souls so pure, so raw, so real. I’m incredibly lucky to have known George and witnessed their infectious spirit.

The drag queen has been praised for her 'infectious spirit' by Bimini Bon Boulash, who also took part in the second season of the BBC Three show

The drag queen has been praised for her ‘infectious spirit’ by Bimini Bon Boulash, who also took part in the second season of the BBC Three show

‘Their patience and kindness was their superpower. They saw you for you and not many people have that empathetic trait. My heart.’

Cheryl Hole – real name Luke Underwood – lamented the world had ‘lost an incredible queen’ as she expressed her sadness at losing her loved one.

She said: ‘I never thought I’d have to write something like this about such a talented and beautiful person that was Cherry. 

‘We have lost an incredible queen and I’m honestly devastated! RIP @TheCValentine I LOVE you.’

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