With Meghan Markle’s estimated due date approaching any day now, the world can hardly stand the anticipation of the royal birth. Some, so it seems, more than others. No, we’re not referring to royal fanatics. We’re talking about the people who have some serious money riding on royal baby specifics.
The birth of a royal baby is a time of celebration in Britain, and that celebration includes good ol’ fashioned gambling.
According to The New York Times, there are instances of more than $325,000 hinging on the details of Baby Sussex. At bookmaker William Hill, bets are predicted to hit $1.3 million.
Two of the hottest bets concern when the birth will take place and what the baby’s name will be.
The Times reports that the shortest odds were on this week as the time of birth and Diana as the baby’s name. Other bookmakers, Boyle Sports for instance, are taking bets on such categories as who the baby’s godparents will be and birth weight.
A history of betting on the royal family
Making bets around the lives of the royal family is as much of a tradition as scones at teatime. Bets were placed on the details of Markle and Harry’s wedding, too. Those partaking made wagers on Markle’s dress, the length of Prince Harry’s facial hair, and the day’s weather.
According to The Times, the bets surrounding Baby Sussex are greater than those around the birth of the baby’s three royal cousins (Catherine and Prince William’s children).
“The idea of tens of thousands of strangers voting on the sex of your unborn baby is frankly bizarre, but it’s part of the buildup to a royal birth and an acceptable part of the narrative,” said Katie Nicholl, royal commentator and author of Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love. “It’s generally seen as harmless fun, and an age-old tradition that’s synonymous with royal births.”
The betting market for royal babies
Betting on royal baby stats isn’t exactly the biggest game in the gambling stratosphere.
On BookMaker.eu, there’s less than $100,000 in royal baby-related wagers. Compared to the $1 million in bets that the Oscars can rake in, it’s small potatoes.
“It’s not college basketball or the Super Bowl, but it’s a bit of fun. Royal babies are big news in the U.K., but people are excited about this one in particular,” Angus Hamilton, an entertainment specialist for BookMaker.eu told The Times.
Hamilton also recalled there being a similar uptick in royal wagers surrounding Princess Diana’s pregnancies.
How the couple’s call for privacy will affect royal baby bets
Last week, Markle and Harry announced that they’re canceling the traditional royal photo opportunity.
“Their Royal Highnesses have taken the personal decisions to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private,” read the statement.
The statement is vague as to how much privacy the couple’s requesting. The general public, as well as those who have money riding on the birth, may have to wait longer than usual to learn any Baby Sussex details.
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