April 24, 2015 / 11:40 AM / 2 years ago

Princess Alice? British punters place bets on royal baby name

LONDON (Reuters) - Princess Alice maybe? Or how about Prince James? British punters are rushing to place wagers on the royal baby's name, gender, weight and precise birth date in the countdown to the arrival of the second child of Prince William and his wife Kate.

With the baby expected in late April - no due date has been given - bookmakers say thousands of wagers have been placed on virtually everything connected to the baby who will be fourth in line to the British throne.

Bookmaker William Hill said the bulk of bets were for a girl.

"I don't genuinely believe that they know themselves but I think everyone expects them to be the perfect family," said Rupert Adams, spokesman for William Hill.

"We've had two bets of 500 pounds both on the name being Alice and this is massive, massive bets for us. The average bet on this type of market is about three to five pounds so a bet of this size is unheard of."

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for the Commonwealth Observance service at Westminster Abbey in London March 9, 2015.Stefan Wermuth

The odds on the baby being called Alice are now 6/4, followed by Charlotte and Elizabeth at 11/2, according to William Hill on Friday. Diana, after Prince William's late mother, is at 16/1.

If it is a boy, James leads at 8/1. Other popular names include Arthur and Alexander.

Kate gave birth to her first child, Prince George Alexander Louis, in July 2013 at London's St Mary's hospital to a worldwide media fanfare. She is expected to have the second child there too.

Royal enthusiasts have already begun camping outside the hospital, setting up Union Jack flags, blue and pink balloons and banners reading "It's a Princess" and "It's a Prince".

"I think it will be a little girl and I like Charlotte Elizabeth Diana," royal fan Maria Scott, wrapped up in a Union Jack flag, said. "I think that's a lovely name."

The baby will be fourth in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth, who turned 89 this week, behind grandfather Prince Charles, father William and elder brother George.

Reporting by Reuters Television; additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Gareth Jones

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