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...
Kate Middleton Style - Best Dresses & Outfits
Kate Middleton at the mens singles final of the Wimbledon Championships - July 6, 2014
Kate Middleton visits an M-PACT Plus Counselling programme - July 1, 2014
Kate Middleton at the ANZAC Day commemorative service - April 25, 2014
Kate Middleton at a service during the D-Day 70 Commemorations - June 6, 2014
Kate Middleton during an official visit to Bletchley Park - June 18, 2014
Kate Middleton and Prince George of Cambridge at the Royal Charity Polo - June 15, 2014
Kate Middleton at the Ben Ainslie Racing America's Cup Launch Event - June 10, 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge wearing Jonathan Saunders in Scotland - 29th May 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Hobbs at Ayers Rock - 22 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Lela Rose in Canberra - 24 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen at Adelaide - 23 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Catherine Walker in Canberra - 24 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge at Taronga Zoo in Sydney - 20 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Roksanda Ilincic in Uluru - 22 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Zimmerman at Manley Beach - 20 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen at Easter service, Ausralia - 20 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in L.K. Bennett at Amberley Air Base - 19 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Christchurch, New Zealand - 14 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Roksanda Ilincic arriving in Sydney, Australia - 16 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Rebecca Taylor leaving New Zealand - 16 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Diane Von Furstenberg in Blue Mountains, Australia - 17 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Zara wine tasting in New Zealand - 13 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Jonathan Saunders at rugby in Dunedin, New Zealand - 13 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Erdem at Avanti Drome in Hamilton, New Zealand - 12 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Emilia Wickstead at Dunedin - 13 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Zara and J Brand at Auckland harbour, New Zealand - 11 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Jenny Packham at State Dinner, New Zealand - 10 April 2014
The Duchess of Cambridge in Tory Burch in Wellington, New Zealand - 9 April 2014