15 times the royals were spotted in unexpected places

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You wouldn’t expect to see a member of the royal family shopping at a discount store or having a pint in their local pub, but sometimes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other family members do surprise us.

Remember when Kate was spotted doing her last-minute Christmas shopping at The Range in 2018, or when Harry popped in to have a cheeky Nando’s on Kensington High Street? Take a trip down memory lane and find out where you could spot the royals!

MORE: All the times the royals have cried in public – from Kate Middleton to The Queen

WATCH: The Queen surprised shoppers in Covent Garden when she visited a pop-up Sainsbury’s store to mark the supermarket chain’s 150th anniversary in May 2019

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Whole Foods

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle went to great lengths to keep their romance under wraps when they first began dating in 2016. The Duke told Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast in May 2021 that he and his future wife came up with a secret way to meet one another in public. 

Harry said: “The first time Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending we didn’t know each other, so were texting each other from the other side of the aisles.”

He continued: “There’s people looking at me, giving me all these weird looks, and coming up to me and saying ‘hi’.

“I texted her saying ‘Is this the right one?’ and she said, ‘No you want parchment paper,’ and I’m like, ‘Where’s the parchment paper?!’

“It was nice, I had a baseball cap on, looking down at the floor, trying to stay incognito.”

While Harry didn’t name the supermarket in question, Meghan was previously spotted walking solo through the gates of Kensington Palace after a shopping trip to pick up some groceries from Whole Foods supermarket.

Keep clicking for more photos…

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Forgan’s restaurant, St Andrews

During their week-long tour of Scotland in May 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were spotted leaving Forgan’s restaurant in St Andrews after enjoying a romantic meal. 

“There was a crowd outside once they left but as far as inside goes it was quiet,” said manager Marc, who declined to give his last name.

“There was no pomp and ceremony or fanfare, they were very nice and when they left they were very complimentary.”

And the next day during a busy day of engagements, William and Kate also popped into the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar for a low-key takeaway

According to the Daily Mail, the pair were ‘regular customers’ while they were students some 20 years ago, and ordered a £7.95 haddock supper, wrapped in paper, which they ate on a bench near the pier.

MORE: 12 of the best moments from Prince William and Kate Middleton’s tour of Scotland

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Lucky’s Steakhouse, Montecito

Harry and Meghan were pictured out in their new neighbourhood in October 2020. Harry and Meghan enjoyed dinner at Lucky’s Steakhouse in Montecito with their friends Katharine McPhee and David Foster.

Main courses at the restaurant include steaks, seafood dishes and an extensive wine list.

Lucky’s Steakhouse opened its second eatery in Malibu at the end of 2020. 

MORE: Royal children’s first words in public revealed after Archie’s sweet podcast debut

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The Duchess of Cambridge at the Hollywood Arms pub, Chelsea

Kate reportedly enjoyed a drink with her fellow school mums at the Hollywood Arms in Chelsea, shortly after Princess Charlotte started at Thomas’s school in Battersea in September 2019. The Duchess is said to have slipped into the meet and greet via a secret entrance in a rear alleyway that her brother-in-law Prince Harry reportedly used to use.

MORE: All the times the royals have lost their temper in public – including the Queen and Kate Middleton

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The Duchess of Cambridge at Sainsbury’s 

Kate was spotted browsing the Halloween costumes with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the Hardwick branch of Sainsbury’s in King’s Lynn (close to the Cambridges’ country home Anmer Hall) during autumn half term in 2019.

Fellow shopper Kathy Whittaker said: “Another shopper said that Kate was in the shop near the clothing and pointed where she was to me. I just couldn’t believe it!

“She was with Charlotte and George looking at Halloween outfits but her bodyguard was kind of watching people with phones and telling them no pictures. I managed to get the photo as she was at the self service check out.

“I didn’t see what she actually bought. The lady that told me she was there had children with her and she said Kate was asking her children what they were going to be for Halloween. I think she bought some Halloween bits for her kinds but I don’t know what.”

MORE: Royal children’s favourite hobbies revealed: George, Charlotte, Mia and more

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Carrow Road Stadium

William and Kate took their eldest children Prince George and Princess Charlotte to watch their first football match at Norwich City's stadium. The Cambridges watched William's favourite team Aston Villa beat the home side 5-1 and Prince George couldn't quite contain his excitement over the goals. 

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The Sussexes at The Rose & Crown

Also this summer, Prince Harry and Meghan were spotted at a pub close to their home. The new parents enjoyed a meal at The Rose & Crown in Winkfield village, which is a ten-minute drive away from Frogmore Cottage.

The Sun reported that the royals tucked into a £15 Sunday roast, and while Harry had a couple of pints of beers during the two-hour visit, Meghan appeared to stick to water. Their son Archie slept in a car seat on a chair next to their table. Despite the heatwave, the royals sat inside and went largely unnoticed by fellow customers. They were joined by a royal aide and were watched over by two protection officers.

MORE: The royal family’s go-to pubs revealed

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The Duchess of Cambridge at The Range

If it’s good enough for Kate, it’s good enough for us! The Duchess was one of many frantic shoppers at The Range in Norfolk, doing her last-minute Christmas shopping. Kate, who was joined by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, was pictured picking out gifts at the outlet store, which is a 15-minute drive away from Sandringham.

A fellow mum told The Sun: “I recognised little Prince George holding Kate’s hand and Charlotte with a red bow in her hair. When Kate got to the checkouts I plucked up courage to ask if she’d do a selfie with me and my kids. She very politely declined. She was so nice, explaining she was just doing a bit of Christmas shopping.”

MORE: Supermarket sweep! When down-to-earth royals are spotted at the shops

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Pines and Needles

For their first Christmas together, Harry and Meghan indulged in all the coupley traditions, like buying their first tree and decorating it together. The lovebirds made a low-key outing to Pines and Needles in Battersea, where they picked up a medium-sized tree.

"They came in at about 8.30pm last night," a spokesperson for the shop told HELLO!. "Prince Harry was with Meghan and hilariously the staff only recognised Meghan at first – they were so excited to have the girl from Suits there. It wasn't particularly cold but they were gloved and hatted out. "They arrived in a car and picked up a tree – they were there for about 15 minutes browsing and then having a look, then they selected their tree and Harry carried it on his shoulder once it was netted up, back to the car."

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The Duchess of Cambridge at Peter Jones

Just like any other parent, Kate was in back to school mode in September 2018, when she was spotted picking up Prince George's school uniform in Peter Jones on Sloane Square. Not only did Kate show what a hands-on mother she is, but the royal also proved she makes the same rookie parenting mistakes.

A source told HELLO! that Kate turned up to purchase her children's school shoes without one crucial item – their socks! George and Charlotte, who were wearing summer sandals, had to borrow a pair from the shop in order to try on their smart new shoes.

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Prince Harry at Nando's

Like most of us, royal brothers William and Harry are big fans of Nando's. The future King was introduced to the chicken shop by his personal protection officer and admitted the restaurant chain is "very good".

Back in 2013, his brother Harry was spotted doing a midnight order in the Fulham branch. Harry, who was 24 years old at the time, tried to fly under the radar wearing jeans and a polo shirt, and partially hiding under a baseball cap. He and his friend ordered chicken breast fillet in pitta bread with a lemon and herb marinade and a side of creamy mash, and a double chicken breast wrap with a medium spice marinade and a side of regular chips. Nice one, Harry!

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Prince William on Ryanair

The second-in-line to the throne surprised fellow travellers when he was spotted boarding a Ryanair flight to Glasgow in 2015. William, who was dressed casually, was travelling to Scotland as part of his training to fly with the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

An eyewitness told The Sun: "The plane was delayed for about 20 minutes and nobody knew why. Then when it landed we realised the Prince was on board. I never expected to see him on Ryanair, but it's refreshing to see a member of the royal family take a cheap flight."

In fact, the royals do tend to travel on budget airlines. William and Kate have flown Flybe before and in the summer of 2019, the couple, along with their three children and nanny, were spotted disembarking a Flybe airplane in Aberdeen. The Cambridges were visiting the Queen in Scotland.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Ilapothecary

Just a few weeks before she gave birth to baby Archie, Meghan was spotted doing a spot of shopping in London. She and Prince Harry spent two hours at Ilapothecary, which is just around the corner from their Kensington Palace home. The shop, which describes itself as a "haven of peace, calm and tranquillity," sells natural products including eye serum, body balm, face mists and bath soaks.

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The Duchess of Cambridge at Waitrose

Kate is a loyal customer of Waitrose and has often been spotted picking up her groceries in the Norfolk branch, bag of life in hand, when she's staying at the royals' country home. She and William also do an online order during the school holidays and on more than one occasion, Prince George likes to offer a helping hand. According to The Sun, George asks which bag he can carry when the delivery van comes to the door. How sweet!

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