"Royal baby fever" is spreading like wildfire not just throughout Britain, but here in the States, as well. But only those in the vicinity of Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London can actually sit vigil for the actual arrival. Those of us across the pond have to wait with bated breath for the long-anticipated announcement that the newest prince or princess has, indeed, arrived.
Although the baby will be only fifth in line to the British throne, after Grandpa Charles, Dad William and older siblings George and Charlotte, bets being placed on the sex of Will and Kate's third baby have exploded, with astronomical numbers being reported. According to Bookmaker William Hill, the industry has done quite well in the days leading up to the Royal births.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting Prince George, bookmaker William Hill says the industry took in about a million pounds.
With Charlotte around £750,000.
Reports are coming out that, now, with this third baby just days away from his/her appearance, the total will be somewhere around £500,00 which Hill says is "way down" but still a large sum of money.
The renewed popularity of the younger batch of royals is contributing well to the bottom line of bookmakers across the world. Some say it has been a perfect storm of life events that are happening among the Windsors.
With Prince Harry, one of the best-loved Royals is set to marry his American fiancée, Meghan Markle on May 19th. Their nuptials is expected to bring a £500,000,000 boost to the British economy "as tourists flock to the country and Britains celebrate."
The Duchess of Cambridge, of course, will be delivering her third child any day now. and everyone is eager to know if it will be a Prince or a Princess.
And don't forget about Princess Eugenie, cousin of Prince Harry and Prince William, who announced her engagement to Jack Brooksbank late last year and is set to wed him on October 12th.
Not all news has come from the under-40s, though, and it hasn't all been good. Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, was recently hospitalized for hip replacement surgery and rumors were running rampant that the 96-year old Duke of Edinburgh was not doing well, sparking fears that he might not recover.
Then, out of the blue, with no announcements about his health in over ten days, Prince Philip left the hospital and returned to Windsor Castle to finish his recovery, smiling and waving at well-wishers from his car.
Express reports “News today shows a flurry of bets on Arthur at 5/1.
“This trumps previous favourites including Mary and Alice, now at 6/1 and 7/1.”
The experts weigh in on what is happening on the gender issue. Katie Baylis, Betfair spokesman, said: “For months it’s been a two-name race when it comes to the name of the Royal Baby, with Alice and Mary the favourites for some time.
“However a significant bet this morning on the baby to be a boy means we have stopped taking bets on the sex of the baby and now have Arthur as the 5/1 favourite, with Edward at 6/1.”
Will baby #3 be a boy or a girl? It seems pretty clear that we can do nothing more than speculate at this point. We can look at the odds (5/1 that it will be a boy named Arthur), or at history (Queen Elizabeth had boy, girl, boy, boy) or at the slip of the tongue Daddy Prince William had the other day when he declared that he'll have to insist his child be called "Jack" after soccer hero Jack Grealish.
No matter how it turns out, the nation - and the world - will erupt in cheers when that fateful day arrives when we find out for sure. At this point, however, we are praying for a healthy baby and a quick recovery for momma.
To see more about the betting hysteria in Britain, watch the video, below.