With the countdown to the birth of Prince William and Duchess Kate's third baby officially on, speculation about the little royal's name has reached a fever pitch.
According to The Sun, betting houses are assigning more likelihood to the classic name “Mary," which is now edging out betters' longtime favorite, Alice.
“Punters are convinced the Duke and Duchess are expecting another little girl, and obviously it would be a lovely touch to honour Her Majesty's grandmother," Jessica Bridge of the betting house Ladbrokes previously told Express. “It will be interesting to see if any boys' names are backed over the coming weeks before the birth."
Right now, the top picks for boys' names include Albert and Arthur.
While in some families there is a true element of surprise with baby-name picks (looking at you, Kardashian family), William and Kate have a pretty narrow field of “acceptable" names for the baby who is to be fifth in line for the throne. Or, as Bridge told Newshub, “It's very hard to see a Princess Chardonnay or a Prince Wayne."
Here's the background on the royal baby names that seem to be in consideration:
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.
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.
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.
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."
That didn't exactly work out as she had planned, but perhaps Albert is going to make a comeback. We'll all find out in April when the third royal baby is due to make his or her arrival.
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