If you've got a visit to designer outlet Bicester Village planned, don't be surprised to find yourself sharing the rails with the Duchess of Cambridge. The Oxfordshire bargain mecca has been known as a favourite with Kate since a Bicester sales assistant told us last year that the Duchess had picked up a M Missoni single breasted collarless coat there for an official visit to Fortnum & Mason with the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Kate also confessed to Sadiah Bte Shahal, the wife of Singaporean senior parliamentary secretary for the ministry of defence, Maliki Osman, when the pair met during her and William's nine-day tour of the Far East last September that she 'loved' Bicester as a shopping destination because 'everything is so contained'.
Kate Middleton in M Missoni [Getty]
Now journalist Mark Ellwood, author of the book Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World, has revealed some interesting facts about the Duchess' Bicester Village shopping habit that he unearthed during his research. Apparently on visits to Bicester Kate heads straight for the 60% off section in the Reiss discount store where she's regularly spotted by staff and customers having a low-key shop with her close friends.
Ellwood explained, 'I went into Reiss to buy a sweater I bought at retail in navy, and they had it in brown for £20. I got chatting to a beautiful English rose behind the counter and asked why they were so many Chinese shoppers in the store - there are no Reiss stores in China - and she said: "Oh, it’s Kate Middleton – she’s in here all the time." She said, "You look up and there’ll be Kate and her same two friends going through the 60 per cent off rack. You have no idea she's there and security must be outside, but she comes in all the time. And she's totally different to the Prince of Thailand, who I heard shut down a restaurant and brought his own staff when he visited Bicester."'
The DoC is a big supporter of Reiss and back in 2011 the so called 'Kate Middleton Effect' was cited as being in part responsible for the high street brand's profit success. She wore the Reiss 'Shola' dress to meet Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace and a silk cream Reiss dress for her official engagement photo - worn a second time on an official tour of Canada. We're guessing the savvy shopper didn't pay full price though!
Take a look at Kate Middleton's wardrobe hits in our Duchess of Cambridge look book below...