Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, may have plans about their impending baby in the wraps, but that has not prevented anyone in Britain from guessing the gender and name of their first child.
If the British bookmakers are believed, it is definitely a girl – and Diana is perhaps one of her many names.
The William Hill agency closed gambling on the baby’s gender a few days ago after an “avalanche” of bets from people who were convinced the royal couple has a girl.
“The secret is, as far as we are concerned,” said robust spokesperson Rupert Adams. “It may be because someone has seen the scan or someone has heard something.”
Although Adams acknowledges that there is always a chance that the peak is not based on anything, he said the average gambling patterns over the years suggest that there is usually some truth to rumors.
Up to now, Diana has been at the top of the bookmakers list as a leader name – William Hill has set the odds at 4/1. Victoria, Alice, Grace and Elizabeth are just behind, while Albert, Arthur and James are popular guesses for a boy.
“A ridiculous number – 80% of the bets taken – are for the name Diana,” Adams said. He said he personally doubted that Harry would choose a name that immediately evokes the tragic death of his iconic mother in 1997, but added: “There is every chance that it is a middle name.”
Carolyn Harris, a royal historian who teaches at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, agrees that Diana can be a middle name. That is what Harry’s brother, Prince William and his wife Kate did for their daughter, Princess Charlotte (the full name of the 3-year-old is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana).
“The choice of Diana as a first name would put a lot of pressure on the royal baby, because the press would constantly compare her with her famous grandmother,” she said.
Harris believes that Harry and Meghan can take a similar approach when naming other recently born royal children down the line of succession: choosing a traditional moniker, but one that is not common in the royal family.
She also thinks that a possible middle name could be Ruth – after one of Meghan’s great-grandmothers, as well as Diana’s grandmother of her mother, Lady Ruth Fermoy.
Some observers speculate that Meghan, who has long spoken about women’s rights, could go for a name that evokes strong women in history – a theory that Harris believes she has content.
“A name associated with prominent female historical figures in Britain and / or the United States is certainly a possibility,” she said. In the 12th century, Eleanor was able to honor both Eleanor Roosevelt and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England.
Harry and Meghan have not yet announced the baby’s gender or the due date, which is generally believed to be somewhere at the end of April.
The couple said Thursday that they will keep the birth private and will not share any news about the baby’s arrival until they tell family and friends. That has led many to come to the conclusion that they are planning a home birth in their new home, Frogmore Cottage, close to Windsor Castle outside of London.
Home birth or not, the scenario will be very different from the media circus that lasted for days outside the London hospital, where their sister-in-law Kate’s three children were born. That will dampen the name and sexually dangerous bet considerably, according to William Hill, who reported that she took “hundreds of bets per minute” whenever palace officials announced that Kate had entered the fight.
Whatever name they choose, the new baby will not automatically have the official title of prince or princess. These titles were given to all three children of William, the eldest son of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.
Instead, Harry and Meghan’s baby are expected to get the Earl of Dumbarton as a boy and Lady Mountbatten-Windsor as a girl. That said, the child’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, could change that if she wants the baby to become a prince or princess.
Harry’s first child becomes the seventh in line for the throne and bumps Harry’s uncle against Prince Andrew.
Some gamblers have laughed with their royal baby bets. Ladbrokes reported that 2 pounds ($ 2.60) were bet on the Brexit name – with a odds of 500/1. The name Donald is at 250/1. Meghan, as every reader of British tabloids know, is not a fan of the current American president.
One thing British gambling agencies don’t see: a lot of money is spent on quirky, New Age or celebrity-driven, unique monikers.
“Harry is a traditional guy at heart, we think he would like a relatively traditional but not absolutely turgid royal name,” Adams said.
“(Meghan) wants to consider herself royal – we think she wouldn’t go with a strange name like” Sunshine, “he added.