As the world waits for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to officially announce the name of their royal baby, bettors across the United Kingdom and Ireland are putting actual money on what they think the name will be. And so far, the leaders are Spencer, James, and Alexander, The Telegraph reports.
Here in the United States, you’re limited to casino games and the outcome of sporting events when placing a bet. But elsewhere, the British Isles, in particular, betting on the outcome of things other than sports is quite the pastime. On sites like Paddy Power, you can put money on royal baby names, who will eventually win the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones, or whether or not Donald Trump will be impeached.
At this point it bears noting that online gambling is illegal in several jurisdictions in the U.S., and most British/Irish betting sites restrict users from the U.S. from placing bets anyway, so don’t get too excited about placing a bet of your own.
All of that aside, the latest odds reveal a few front-runners.
In the lead is Spencer at 4:1. If that’s a head-scratcher for you, considering that there has never been a King Spencer in European history (and royal babies are almost always named for previous monarchs or people connected to the family at the very least), there’s a reason for that name. Spencer is the maiden name of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana.
In second place are James and Alexander at 5:1. James strikes two of the right notes: it’s the name of two former monarchs and is Biblical — the royal family is Christian, after all. Alexander is in second place, and although there’s never been a King Alexander, the name pops up pretty frequently in the royal family, and tradition dictates that a baby be given a name that has been used in the family before.
Rounding out the top 10 are Arthur (6:1), Albert (8:1), Philip (10:1), Theodore (12:1), Gregory (14:1), Oliver (16:1), and Grey (20:1).
There are a couple of names that didn’t make the top 10 that have come up in conversation as well. For example, it’s not uncommon for parents to name their children after dear friends, and Meghan’s friend Jessica Mulroney has two sons, Brian and John, who served as pageboys at her wedding.
The Mulroney kids stole the show at the #RoyalWedding this morning, now here's some of our favourite moments with Brian, John & Ivy >>> https://t.co/ngEFxXOr5h #RoyalWedding #CTVRoyalWedding #etalk pic.twitter.com/qsxmt7DyVT— etalk (@etalkCTV) May 19, 2018
Unfortunately, Brian is probably too obscure for the, shall we say, “tradition-forward” royal family. And John is absolutely out as King John (1166-1216) was arguably Britain’s worst king, and the name is considered bad luck in the monarchy.