Sir Elton John splashed out $30,000 on 12 cashmere robes for friends.

The British singer - who recently became a father for the first time with his partner David Furnish via a surrogate mother - was spotted stocking up on the pricey gifts in department store Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills.

The star's huge spree caused a delay at the cash register but fellow shoppers revealed Elton was apologetic.

A source said the singer turned around to the customers behind him and said: "I apologise for holding the queue up. I'll be right out in a moment."

David has previously revealed he and Elton don't like to splash out on expensive gifts for each other at Christmas, despite their reputations as big spenders.

He said: "I got Elton a piece of art. We have a one present rule at Christmas. We don't want it to be about stuff. We like to spend time with one another. We need the rest!"