British bookmakers are suspending betting on the due date of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s royal baby, amid speculation that the child has already been born.
Paddy Power and Coral halted bets after a number of customers placed money on dates that had already passed. Both have also noticed a surge in betting on the child being a girl named Ivy.
“These people are clearly talking to someone, who is talking to someone else,” said Lee Price, Paddy Power’s head off PR.
He added that customers have often led the way when it comes to Harry and Meghan’s announcements, recalling that bookers had correctly guessed the couple’s engagement date before Clarence House announced it.
Ivy is now the runaway favorite across multiple bookmakers for the child’s name, with some offering even odds on the choice. It is followed by Alice, Diana, Victoria, and Elizabeth, as punters appear decided that the child will be a girl.
“We have suspended all of our markets apart from the name of the baby, where Ivy is currently the short-priced favorite on the back of a surge of bets in the last 48 hours,” John Hill, Coral’s PR Manager, said.
Arthur, James, and Alexander are the top choices for a boy.
“We suspended betting on the birth date last Friday as we were seeing an abnormal number of large bets on that day being the birth date,” Hill added, referring to Friday, May 3 — the day Prince Harry abruptly changed his travel plans for an upcoming trip to the Netherlands.
That coincidence could suggest the surge in bets has come from punters, rather than insiders with particular knowledge. Royal watchers have been anticipating the announcement of a royal baby for some time, with the US former actress due to give birth any day.
But details have been few and far between, with the royal couple previously announcing they would keep arrangements relating to the birth private.
That has fueled speculation that Meghan could give birth at home, without informing the media for days afterward.
When he or she does arrive, the child will be the seventh in line to the British throne.