In Which I Ask Kate Middleton to Go Outlet Shopping With Me

Fashion expert Mark Ellwood stumbled upon something delightful while doing research for his book, Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.

Ellwood was at Bicester Village Outlets in England, where he popped into Reiss for a marked-down sweater.

I got chatting to a beautiful English rose behind the counter,” Ellwood told the Daily Mail, “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.'”

In fact, the Duchess of Cambridge purchased her Missoni tweed coat at the outlets, worn on a visit to Fortnum & Mason in March 2012, and again on a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham in June 2012.

“You look up and there’ll be Kate and her same two friends going through the 60 per cent off rack,” the cashier continued.  “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.”

One must remember that it’s against protocol for a royal to accept freebies.  They are, after all, above celebrity.

‘The future Queen of England can’t take anything free,” Ellwood said.  “She cannot endorse anything.” 

Whatever will Catherine be wearing this Friday, when she attends the SportsAid Athlete Workshop at the Copper Box, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  A pair of Rag & Bone outlet skinny jeans?  An autumn number from DVF’s factory store?