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Right regal fuss as world wagers on royal baby

中国日报网 2013-07-03 15:57

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Will it be a girl called Alexandra, or a boy called Wayne? No one outside Buckingham Palace knows, but it has not stopped punters from around the world betting on Britain's royal baby.

Bookmakers say they expect that wagers on the arrival of Prince William and Catherine's first child will outstrip those for the couple's wedding in 2011, previously the biggest market for so-called novelty bets.

There is a right royal choice of odds ranging from the baby's sex, weight and hair color to even whether Kate will be "too posh to push" and have a caesarean.

"It's a global market," said Joe Crilly, a spokesman for British bookies William Hill, who added that the big money is on the baby's name.

Traditional names head the list, led by Alexandra and followed by Charlotte, Elizabeth, Diana and Victoria when it comes to girls' names, and George, James and Louis for boys.

Alexandra is Queen Elizabeth II's middle name, Charlotte is the middle name of Kate's sister Pippa and the name of King George III's wife, while Victoria would honor Britain's longest-serving monarch.

Unlikelier choices include Hashtag, the Twitter term on which Irish bookmaker Paddy Power took a bet at 500/1, and Wayne and Waynetta, after slobby characters in a British television comedy, at 250/1 and 500/1. Punters can also get odds of 5,000/1 on Psy, after the South Korean pop star, or North, the name of rapper Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's new baby.

"We are seeing a tug of war, with a quite modern couple like William and Kate on one hand, but they have a royal family to appease, 1,000 years of tradition and they don't want to upset the queen," said Rory Scott, a spokesman for Paddy Power.

Girls' names dominate the odds because punters seem convinced the royal baby will be a girl, after Kate reportedly nearly let it slip during a public appearance earlier this year.

Odds are normally equal for both genders but in this case the odds are nearly twice as long on a male for most bookies.

The most volatile topic is the date of the birth, with several betting companies slashing the odds on the first week of July instead of the expected date of around July 13.

The favorite for hair color is brown, followed by blonde or black, with ginger hair like the new arrival's uncle Prince Harry generally the least favored.

Scott said Paddy Power had taken 10,000 bets and expected takings to be a "good 30 percent up" on the wedding, with turnover of $450,000.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

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