A sustained flurry of bets have been placed in anticipation of the next royal baby, far-outstripping the volume made ahead of Prince George’s birth, bookmakers have reported.
Among the shortest odds for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s impending arrival, which is due next month, are for Harry and Meghan to have a baby girl and for her to be called Diana after Harry’s late mother.
One bookmaker also said it had seen a surge in bets that the Duchess will give birth to twins, leaving it facing the prospect of a huge payout should this happen.
According to William Hill, the turnover for Harry and Meghan’s baby - who will be seventh in line to the throne - is up 80 per cent compared with the run-up to the birth of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child, the future king George.
Most bets are placed immediately before a royal baby’s arrival, but bookies expect the trend to continue.
Rupert Hill, spokesman for William Hill, said: “Royal baby betting has never been more popular and the public clearly love Harry and Meghan.
“At this stage we think turnover will be higher for the Sussex baby than it was for Prince George.”
William Hill has the arrival of a girl at odds of 8/11 and a boy at 1/1, while the name Diana is 10/1, followed by Alice at 12/1, Victoria 14/1 and Alexandra and Elizabeth at 16/1.
For a boy, William Hill’s favourite is Arthur at 12/1, followed by Edward, James and Philip all at 16/1 and Alexander at 20/1.
Paddy Power is facing a big payout if the couple have a girl and call her Diana, according to Amy Jones, a spokeswoman for the bookmaker, who said: “We have seen continued support for Diana and it will be a five-figure pay-out for Paddy Power if that is the chosen name.
“Currently the 8/1 favourite, it has remained the favourite since we started taking bets on it.”
She said the opening price for Meghan and Harry to have twins was 33/1 in October but it now stands at 2/1.
“Our biggest loser across all markets is Meghan to give birth to twins in 2019, so we’ll be very nervous if this one lands,” Ms Jones said.
The baby’s weight is also the subject of speculation, with between 7lb and 7lb 15oz, and 8lb and 8lb 15oz the joint favourites at 2/1 with Paddy Power.
Odds that Meghan will give birth to a 10lb-plus baby are 16/1.