Prince William and Kate Middleton are expecting their third child in the spring, and British bookies have been busy taking bets on the royal baby’s gender and name. According to UK bookmakers, Mary has surpassed Alice as the top choice for a baby girl, with Albert and Arthur being the top choices for a boy.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Ladbrokes has the odds of a new princess being named Mary at 7-1, following a serious gamble in the northwest of England. Paddy Power has suspended bets on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby being a girl and reduced the odds on the name Mary from 12-1 to 13-1.
Mary is an extremely popular name in the royal family, with one of Queen Elizabeth’s middle names being Mary. It was also her grandmother’s name, Queen Mary, who was married to King George V and known as Mary of Teck.
There have also been two Marys on the British throne. First, there was Mary I – also known as Bloody Mary – known for her persecution of Protestants, and Mary II, who ruled jointly with her husband William III.
Jessica Bridges, of Ladbrokes, isn’t sure why the name has become more popular than Alice, especially since it has fallen out of fashion over the last century. In 1904, it was the number one name for girls in England and Wales. But now, it isn’t even on the list of the top 100 names.
“We can’t quite put our finger on the link between Mary and the North West, but the overwhelming support means we have a new favorite in the royal baby name market,” said Bridges.
She added that people seem to be sure the baby will be a girl, but it will be interesting to see if any boy names become popular in the weeks before the new royal arrives.
Current odds for boy names have Albert and Arthur tied at 12-1. Following Mary and Alice are Victoria at 8-1 and Alexandra at 16-1.
Rumors have also circulated that the royal couple could be having twins, but in the palace’s pregnancy announcement, they made it clear that William and Kate are expecting “a baby.”
William joked about the prospect of having twins, saying his “mental health would be tested.”
He added that three children will be difficult enough to cope with and he will be “permanently tired.”
The twins rumor has surfaced during each of Middleton’s pregnancies, but Kensington Palace has said that if two babies were on the way, they would make the announcement, not a gossip magazine.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have not publicly commented on what they may name their new baby, who will be fourth in line to the throne.