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Royal baby name bets: There's a new name on the radar with an American twist

It seems the bookies in Britain have a new contender when it comes to potential baby names for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

At the beginning of the month betters in the UK seemed confident in 'Victoria' and 'Diana', but now a couple of wildcards are moving up in the rankings. The name 'Grace' is now tied with 'Diana', according to Ladbrokes.

Arthur, Elizabeth, Philip, Alice, Allegra, James, Albert and Victoria round out the top ten.

We're not entirely sure what that means other than that bettors in the U.K. no longer seem quite as confident that Prince Harry's child will be named after his late mother. As much as we would love to see that, we don't see it as super realistic, either. After all, Princess Charlotte's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, so would Harry and Meghan want to use the name as well? Only time will tell.

Following Diana is Grace, which is trendy and has some historical significance as the name of another American actress turned royal, Princess Grace of Monaco. Even more out of left field than Grace is the name Allegra, which is Italian in origin and recently surged from down in the 100 odds up to the top ten.

"It's probably the most bizarre eleventh hour move we could've seen, but the money is coming in thick and fast for Allegra. We wouldn't be surprised to see the name right up there with the frontrunners by the time the birth gets announced," Alex Apati of Ladbrokes tells The Sun. "We're scratching our heads as to why we've seen so much interest in Allegra, but . . . it's been by far the most popular pick of the month with punters."

If you're wondering why the girls names outnumber the boys, it's because British bettors are putting money on Meghan having a girl, thanks to that time in Australia when Prince Harry replied "so do I!" to a royal watcher who hollered "I hope it's a girl!" at the passing couple.


Here's more info on royal baby name contenders that have been in and out of top ten this month:

Albert

The name of Queen Elizabeth's father, it's easy to see why Albert is a favorite pick among bookies. It was also a very, very real favorite of Queen Victoria, who insisted all male descents bear the name in some form.

As she wrote to her oldest son after the birth of his second child, "Of course you will add Albert at the end, like your brothers, as you know we [Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort] settled long ago that all dearest Papa's male English descendants should bear that name, to mark our line, just as I wish all the girls to have Victoria after theirs!

I lay great stress on this; and it is done in a great many families."

Alice

The daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (1843-1878) was heavily involved in women's causes and even managed field hospitals during the Austro-Prussian War. Her granddaughter, Princess Alice of Battenberg (1885-1969), continued that impressive legacy by sheltering Jewish refugees in Greece during World War II. She was also the mother of Prince Philip, which makes her this baby's great-great-grandmother.

Philip

If Harry and Meghan choose to call the baby Philip they will be honoring both Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, and Harry's brother William. The Duke of Cambridge's full name includes a Philip in the middle, in honor of his dad's dad.

Arthur

According to Nameberry, Arthur is the most popular boy's name in the running that isn't currently assigned to another royal. Besides that, it has a rich history that encompasses the legendary King Arthur as well as Arthur, Prince of Wales, a would-have-been king from the 16th century. More recently, it was the name of Queen Victoria's seventh child, who served as the Governor General of Canada in the early 20th century.

Elizabeth

Obviously, the name Elizabeth would honor Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, but (as we've mentioned above) Princess Charlotte's full name is Elizabeth Diana, so Meghan and Harry might feel this name is already being carried on.

James

This name can be traced all through the royal family's history, but is also super common in modern times. Only 20 names were more popular than James in the UK in 2017.

Mary

In addition to being one of Queen Elizabeth's two middle names, Mary is a thoroughly royal moniker with roots that stretch back centuries. Looking more recently, Mary of Teck (1867-1953) served as the Queen of the United Kingdom during the reign of her husband, King George V. After his death, she served as queen mother when her sons Edward and Albert were on the throne. She died shortly before the coronation of her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth.

Alexander/Alexandra

This one seems unlikely to us, even though the Queen's middle name is Alexandra, because Prince George's middle name is Alexander. Parents don't normally name a child after a cousin so close in age (but we could be wrong. We thought Prince Louis would be called Prince Albert, after all).

Oh, and there's a wildcard in the mix here, too.

Everybody is talking about Diana for a girl, but what about Spencer for a boy? We like the sound of that and so do some bettors. The odds are currently 33/1 for Harry's mom's surname as Baby Sussex's first name.

And Doria (Meghan's mom's name) isn't far behind Spencer on the bettor's list, and is quite close to Diana's name. Maybe a Doriana?

And with Meghan recently telling a pregnancy well-wisher that "We're nearly there!" we may be meeting baby Doriana (or Spencer or Victoria or Albert or James) sooner than we thought!

[A version of this post was originally published March 7, 2019.]

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