Friday 30 September 2016

Royal baby 'Princess Alice’ could cost bookmakers hundreds of thousands as betting mounts ahead of arrival

Gordan Raynor

Published 19/04/2015 | 17:05

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with Prince George in 2013
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with Prince George in 2013
April 2014: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds Prince George of Cambridge as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge look whilst meeting a Bilby called George at Taronga Zoo
Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013
Kate Middleton with her baby George

The Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a blonde daughter called Alice on Monday, according to the instincts of the betting public.

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Despite the fact that the royal couple do not know the gender of their second child, punters seem convinced they have inside information, and around nine in 10 bets have been placed on the arrival of a princess. Industry insiders in the UK say that a “Princess Alice” would cost bookmakers around £500,000 (€700,000) in payouts to those who staked money on the sex or name of the Duchess’s second child.

Despite the seeming impossibility of anyone knowing the name, so much money has been placed on Alice that the odds with the bookmaker Ladbrokes are as short as 5/4 – little more than even money, despite there being thousands of possibilities.

Jessica Bridge, the company’s spokesman, said: “The support for Alice is starting to get silly now, but we’ve been left with no option but to cut the odds as punters relentlessly back the girl/Alice combination.” Two people have bet more than £2,000 (€2,700) each on the baby being a girl, helping to shift the odds to 8/15 for a girl, with a boy now an 11/8 shot.

Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013
Kate Middleton and Prince William leaving hospital with George in 2013
April 2014: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds Prince George of Cambridge as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge look whilst meeting a Bilby called George at Taronga Zoo

It would appear to be a case of the blind leading the blind – after all, the chances of a boy or a girl are 50/50, and there have been no reports suggesting the Duke and Duchess have chosen a name.

However, punters were right about the name George last time, making it the overwhelming favourite before Prince George’s birth, and that may have convinced people that someone, somewhere, knows something this time too.

Alice is such an overwhelming favourite that the next most fancied name, Elizabeth, has comparatively long odds of 6/1, as does Charlotte, with Victoria and Diana both at 14/1.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given reports of rivalry between the couple’s parents, Carole, the Duchess’s mother’s name, is a long shot at 40/1, although the Duchess’s father’s name, Michael, is at 25/1, the same odds as for Charles, the Duke’s father’s name.

Because so little money has been placed on a boy, the odds on boys’ names are longer. Arthur and James, the two most fancied boys’ names, both have odds of 20/1 at Ladbrokes.

Bookmakers are also taking bets on the day the baby will be born, and April 20 quickly emerged as the favourite in early betting. As the day of the birth draws closer, narrowing the window in which the baby could be born, odds on the birth date have evened out, with every day between now and April 27 now listed as 10/1.

Kate Middleton with her baby George
Kate Middleton with her baby George

Punters can even have a flutter on the baby’s hair colour. Blonde and brown are both offered at 6/4, with red and black at 5/1. Up to a million pounds is expected to have been staked on the birth by the time the baby is born.

The Duchess’s due date has been reported as April 25, although there have also been suggestions it is April 23.

Parking restrictions have already been put in place outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, in anticipation of the birth, although the restrictions will only be in place until April 30, suggesting doctors expect the baby to have arrived before then.

If the baby is born on Tuesday, he or she will share its birthday with the Queen, who will be 89. Two days later comes St George’s Day, and April 29 will be the Duke and Duchess’s fourth wedding anniversary.

There is also the remote possibility that if the baby is overdue it could be born on May 7, the day of the General Election, for which bookies are offering odds of 20/1.

Telegraph.co.uk

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