Kate Middleton, Prince William?s girlfriend, is to stage an exhibition of her work after securing a deal as a photographer, a newspaper has reported.

Middleton has been secretly preparing a portfolio of pictures ahead of an exhibition of work that includes a hazy sunset and ?wild seascape?, according to an article in the News of the World

An insider is quoted as telling the paper: ?This is Kate’s passion. She has always wanted to be a photographer since she was a student.

?It?s a bit ironic that after all her run-ins with photographers she has now become one. I suppose if you can?t beat them, join them.?

Earlier this year Middleton won at least £10,000 in an out-of-court settlement over alleged invasion of privacy.

The payout related to pictures of Middleton on a tennis court and at a family lunch in Cornwall last Christmas.

A photographer from agency Ikon Pictures was said to have taken pictures of her playing tennis from a public footpath.

The controversy came amid reports that royal officials had banned Middleton from pursuing a career as a photographer, according to the Daily Star newspaper.

The paper reported that officials had persuaded Prince William that it would be ?inappropriate? for a future member of the Royal Family.

However, according to yesterday’s News of the World, the Queen is now keen for her to pursue a career as a photographer because she has been criticised for being ‘workshy’.

Photography careers are nothing new to the Royals. Both Lord Snowdon and the late Lord Lichfield carved out, and maintained, high profile careers as photographers.