AN Ilkley based artist says she is "stunned" after selling one of her paintings to royalty.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, paid £300 for the piece by Helen Brayshaw, of Ilkley.

The duchess spotted the oil painting, Halved Avocado, while visiting the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull with the Prince of Wales on Wednesday last week.

Their tour of the gallery's £5.2m revamp was timed to coincide with the City of Culture 2017 celebrations.

The duchess had asked if she could buy a painting by another artist but was told that particular one was not for sale.

She then spotted Helen's still-life, one of about 330 works of art in the open exhibition.

Helen, 48, who exhibited her work during Ilkley Art Trail in October last year said: "The only unsold/unreserved painting I had left after the Trail was the Halved Avocado which I entered at the last minute into Ferens Gallery's 50th Open Exhibition for Hull's year as 2017 UK City of Culture.

"I was honoured to be selected to represent Yorkshire artists by a judging panel including Maureen Lipman CBE, Dr Gabriele Finaldi (Director of The National Gallery, London) and Royal Academician David Mach, sculptor.

"When I heard there was a royal visit to the Ferens on Wednesday last week I joked on social media that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were going to see my painting. The next morning I was stunned to be contacted by the Ferens Gallery and told that Camilla had purchased my piece of work, after being told that her initial choice - a sketch of a greyhound - was on loan and not for sale. In this instance I was very happy to be second choice!"

Helen, who is married to Tim, with two daughters, Cecily, 24 and Amelia, 18, is originally from Dorset, and moved to Ilkley in 2000. She had been working full time for Chantelle Lingerie Ltd, managing their large retail accounts in the north of England, but went part time when she returned to university to study MA Fine Art at Leeds University in September.

"After going part time at work in order to paint, which has always been my greatest passion, I've exhibited twice on the annual Ilkley Art Trail and at the Ilkley Art Show," added Helen.

"Up until now I've been mainly working on still life studies in oil paint, however, having gone back to uni I'm having the opportunity to broaden my horizons and experiment with all kinds of media, including sound, video, sculpture and installation art."