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Punters bet big on British royal bairn

AFP-JIJI

Will it be a girl called Alexandra, or a boy called Wayne? No one outside Buckingham Palace knows, but that 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 choice of odds ranging from the future monarch’s sex, weight and hair color to even whether Kate will be “too posh to push” and have a cesarean.

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 for 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.