Royal baby: could it be born today?

Royal supporter Terry Hutt poses outside St. Mary's Hospital Lindo Wing in London as he arrives to stake his place outside the building where Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first child to be born. Image: AP Photo, Sang Tan

As the birth of the Duchess of Cambridge's baby draws closer, the bookies are claiming that the smart money is on a royal birth today, 11 July, rather than the official due date of 13 July.

And a late rush of bets says Britain is expecting a girl who will be called Alexandra.

The baby is due to be delivered at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, west London, where Prince William was born.

“We have seen a flurry of activity in the last couple of days, the majority of which is for the baby to be born on Thursday this week,” a spokesman for William Hill said.

The same bookmaker reports a surge of bets on the baby being a girl called Alexandra: “We have had punters desperate to back Alexandra, which has been gambled on before.”

Other favourite names for a girl are Charlotte and Diana. If it’s a boy, the favourite names are Harold and George.

Intriguingly, the Daily Telegraph reports that Ladbrokes has seen a last-minute surge on bets on James, the name of Kate Middleton’s younger brother, with the odds narrowing from 20/1 to 6/1.

The BBC is on royal baby watch, asking punters to place their bets on the royal baby’s name, despite the fact that no one can be sure of its gender.

Depending on whether it’s a boy or a girl, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child will hold the official title of His Royal Highness Prince of Cambridge, or Her Royal Highness Princess of Cambridge. Any other children the couple have will be known by the same title. Prince William was given the Dukedom of Cambridge by the Queen on his wedding day in 2011.

As the Daily Mail notes, Kate and William are not the first members of the royal family to hold the Cambridge titles. In 1850 King George III’s son Prince Adolphus and his wife Princess Augusta were known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children took the titles Prince and Princess of Cambridge.